We all sat down for Sunday dinner today (I had spent quite a while preparing it and was looking forward to everyone eating together). No sooner had we sat down that the bickering began, not really arguing just disagreeing all the time! Does anyone have any strategies to deal with this. Can I add we only have one little one the rest are pre-teens and teens. The youngest was the best behaved!!
My sister and I were made to sit at opposite ends of the table and out of each others eye line at family dinners until fairly recently- we're 25 and 18 It'll get better with time, but you have my sympathy!
4 dcs five and under here. Lots of fighting with us also. All want to sit next to dd4, who for safety's sake, should sit next to none of them. I am trying to separate them, but when they be have, they look so damn sweet all sitting next to each other. My other problem apart from arguing is the general wandering around. Why they all decide that the middle of dinner is the best time for a poo, I don't know. We are trying to lay down some basic foundations for meal time, I.e., not leaving the table til everyone is finished etc, but we are getting defeated at every post!
I find it's best to get everyone to the table as late as poss, literally as the plates are being put down. We had arguments about where people sat which then spilled over into general bickering during the meal so they now have set places all the time. I also find introducing topics to discuss and making sure each person has a chance to have a say on the subject helps - such as where would your dream holiday be, what the best thing you've done this week...etc. If all else fails the threat of "the next person to start on someone will do the washing and drying up after this meal" works like a dream!