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Toys at the dinner table - I've given up, dh appalled

(98 Posts)
Alitoomanykids Sun 21-Oct-12 09:35:06

My two year old wont sit still at the dinner table. She is very easily distracted and gets up and down all the time. It is impossible to keep her sitting in either a high chair or a booster seat as she just undoes the straps and stands up / climbs on to the table. I have basically given up and now allow a collection of toys at the dinner table. She actually eats quite well when she wants to but doesn't seem to need more than a few mouthfuls sometimes. Anyway, in a nutshell dh is appalled by this (he works away during the week and is only home at weekends) and its not really fair to the two older kids either who have never been allowed toys at the table. I'm currently taking the path of least resistance!

squeakytoy Sun 21-Oct-12 09:36:15

I would find a midway compromise and perhaps allow just one toy.

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 09:37:49

Please don't stress. She is two. Whatever gets you through at that age, especially as you have other DC to consider.

It is another temporary phase. <hugs>

uoYekorByMredluomS Sun 21-Oct-12 09:39:53

I wouldn't allow it either. Neither of mine could get out of an antilop once strapped in, what high chair have you got?

GrimAndHumourless Sun 21-Oct-12 09:41:44

no toys at the table here either

yy antilop

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 09:43:57

Is it really such a big deal though? Perhaps things have changed since I had my two. I remember them brumming Matchbox cars on the high chair tray.

They are 13 and 10 now and don't seem to have been harmed by it, They sit and eat at the table quite happily without toys.

GhostShip Sun 21-Oct-12 09:47:25

Appalled? hmm FFS

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 09:48:37

If he is that appalled maybe he would like to do the mealtimes today and sort it all out for you Ali. wink

HeadlessForHalloween Sun 21-Oct-12 09:50:51

My 8 year old ds has just eaten his breakfast with his Wilkinson artic lorry on the table, as far as I know it has had no adverse effects grin

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 09:51:33

That's awful Headless you should be ashamed. sad

ByTheWay1 Sun 21-Oct-12 09:52:12

I'd be more concerned about the safety stuff - you need to get her to realise that undoing straps is just not on, it is not safe, that she needs to stay buckled in no matter who has strapped her in -

and yes they do need to know that from a very early age -

my brother took a tumble from a high chair at 2 and has not been right since - he is now 40 and still limps and suffers chronic back ache.

HeadlessForHalloween Sun 21-Oct-12 09:56:20

I shall punish myself later with wine grin

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Sun 21-Oct-12 10:01:02

headless, you need to sit on the naughty bed step for one minute of your life for some blessed peace and if you don't say sorry when you have finished you will have to stay therer again for another session grin

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 10:02:15

Perhaps some children don't like being in a highchair restricted by straps while they eat? Would a little table and chair be better?

uoYekorByMredluomS Sun 21-Oct-12 10:04:18

None of them really like it sparkling, just as they don't like car seats but they get used to it really quickly and makes it much more easy to go out to restaurants with them. Short term pain and all that.

DS always has stuff to play with at the table.
It just doesn't seem to be a big deal to me. He eats and he plays.
I'm confident he won't be doing this when he's 38 -she says, looking at DH playing with an ipad at the table hmm-

AdoraBell Sun 21-Oct-12 10:05:23

I agree, if DH is appalled at this behaviour from a two year old then he should correct the behaviour. Or he could lighten up and realise that a two year old might struggle to concentrate and sit still. I didn't allow toys at the table either, but neither did I expect DDs to sit still through meal times politely at the ripe old age of two.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 21-Oct-12 10:07:09

My original thoughts were: DH can be as appalled as he likes - as long as he keeps it to himself. I know he is working away and not away having fun, but none the less - you are the one who is there day to day and what you say goes. If he carries on about it, tell him to take some leave, come home for more than 48 hrs and sort it to his satisfaction.

However, if I had to work away and only came home at the weekends I wouldn't feel I had to 'put up and shut up' with whatever was happening, but I would discuss it with the parent who was there all of the time and see what could be done and how I could help with that. I wouldn't be 'appalled'.

I do allow a toy (or two) at the table when they're very little, but they 'sit & watch' they're not played with. It seems to work.

Before MN I would have said 'Oh FGS just make her sit there & don't allow her to get up and down' and in my world, that's still what would happen. However, I accept that perhaphs I have just been lucky with all the children I have ever encountered because they've all done pretty much as they were told (sometimes needing telling quite firmly & consistently!!), but since being on MN it's harder to know if there are children who just will not do as they're told or if others perhaphs aren't as 'firm' and unwavering in their methods confused.

Does it bother you if she brings toys to the table?

As for the older children, just tell them that when they were small like her they were allowed to as well, but once they were big enough to understand that it's not good manners they stopped doing it wink

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 10:07:14

Perhaps I have just forgotten uoYekor. I think I am a bit old and cynical now. When I see people with young children and what they are having to deal with I look at my 10 and 13 year old and think don't sweat the small stuff. But that's hindsight for you. sad

I have my teenage woes to contend with now...

tiggyfours Sun 21-Oct-12 10:07:22

Baby tiggy has also given up her highchair, and refuses booster seat too! she just wants to be like the bigger ones,and although does not have toys at the table,if it made her sit at the table ,I would allow it.when they pass the difficult stage,it will be easier to remove toys.At the moment,getting food into them is more important to me.

SilverCharm Sun 21-Oct-12 10:08:19

I'm with Sparkling ...this isn't 1812...it's 2012 and I would hope that we are kinder to children of TWO than we once were.

a two year old can't be expected to sit and quietly eat a meal in silence.

It's not a formal meal...it's a family one which should be fun and pleasant.

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Oct-12 10:09:39

I think it makes a difference there are other DC who aren't restricted by straps and a highchair like she is?

SilverCharm Sun 21-Oct-12 10:10:18

If we were talking about a 6 or 7 year old, then fine...be a bit strict. This is almost a baby!

WhyMeWhyNot Sun 21-Oct-12 10:10:57

Adults with mobiles at the table would annoy me more to be honest.
Is she helping to feed herself? can she play with fork and spoon instead of toys and help to feed herself. I used to use walking reins , without the long strap obviously, and secure mine in their highchair with those far safer than standard straps.
Keep at the table only while she's eating but once down don't offer more food or put her back in high chair. I'm sure she'll soon realise the high chair is for food not playtime.

uoYekorByMredluomS Sun 21-Oct-12 10:10:58

Oh absolutely sparkling, we're passed that too but straps on car seats and high chairs are a safety issue. And selfishly, we like to go out to eat and so was always keen to train them to sit for at least as long as it took to wolf down a lunch. Dc roaming around in restaurants is one of my pet hates.

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