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To think that Sunday roasts with 3 kids are hell

(196 Posts)
lostinthoughts Sun 24-Feb-19 21:35:02

Feeling like a failure....

My 3 DC are ages 5, 3 and 1 and will sit at a table during a family roast dinner with my parents for approximately 10 minutes and eat next to nothing before asking to get down from the table to go and play.

I wish they would sit for longer and have a chat/do their usual funny stuff as my parents would love that but instead the scarper.

I can literally feel my DM's disdain and know what she is thinking that I have ferral kids

Please tell me I'm not the only one? Or if I am, then tell me your secrets

Fatted Sun 24-Feb-19 21:37:37

Do you do the roast or does your DM? Do they actually like the food?

My kids are similar ages to your elder two and frankly I can't think of anything worse than trying to sit down for a meal with extended family with them! We do usually go to my parents house for tea on Saturdays, but usually have pizza and chips!!

drinkygin Sun 24-Feb-19 21:44:04

Tell them to sit back down at the table and don’t let them run off?? They’re kids and they won’t learn if you don’t teach them.

Stuckforthefourthtime Sun 24-Feb-19 21:44:24

At this age they have special sensors for when you particularly want to impress someone, at which point they inevitably choose to misbehave.
If it helps, at one family event my three older boys - usually actually quite well behaved - decided to start a pantsless race for all cousins. I nearly died of laughter and shame simultaneously blushgrin

Simple things can help. Make sure they are hungry, and perhaps give the older two a role in setting the table or cooking to help them feel involved. We have some nights at home where we make a pudding as well as main course and encourage the children to get dressed up and do things 'properly' with pudding as an inducement.
We also have the rule that they can get down if they do it politely BUT that this means they are done with the meal, and there is nothing more for a few hours until snack time. This plus being hungry before should at least get them to engage with the food a bit.

Ultimately though if they are polite about getting down, at this age I wouldn't fret too much. Very soon it will be much easier!

squeezysparklyballs Sun 24-Feb-19 21:44:35

Take them to the park and knacker them first and no morning snack.

lostinthoughts Sun 24-Feb-19 21:46:57

On this occasion my mum did the cooking at her house. And no, they don't like the food really as it's mainly veg. She does do them sausages and then they can have whichever potatoes and veg they like, but still it's pretty boring for them. They would definitely prefer pizza and chips!

Loopytiles Sun 24-Feb-19 21:47:08

Aah, they’re still very small. With those ages lots of previously enjoyable adult-oriented stuff turns to shit! It passed for us.

DC1 was a horror at meals, and grew out of it. DC2 was much happier to sit in general, and has always loved roast!

Hope your DM wasn’t doing cat’s bum.

blackteasplease Sun 24-Feb-19 21:47:26

Until very recently I found it a complete mare. Youngest is now 5 and so it's started to feel a bit less ridiculous.

Quite like roasts and 10 yo enjoys them. But we don't have them every week as I find it a bit "oppressive" to be tied down to the big meal every Sunday. Quite prefer to go out and have fun.

Auntiepatricia Sun 24-Feb-19 21:48:57

I have same ages. It’s hell. I try so hard to make a nice family meal and it goes to shit so fast. I think my mum thinks I too soft on them but I think she’s forgotten what it’s like. I also have 4 kids close in age. She had two.

We’ll get there. I’ll keep trying.

blackteasplease Sun 24-Feb-19 21:49:37

For 3 and 1 yos the ritual of a roast is defo not for their benefit. They have some to keep you company and get some food inside them but it's not fun for them.

Drogosnextwife Sun 24-Feb-19 21:49:53

What drinkygin said.

lostinthoughts Sun 24-Feb-19 21:51:18

Ah I'm so glad to hear this. They are generally well behaved and, IMO if they ask politely to get down and they definitely don't get any more food later, then I'd rather they went off to play than be dicking around at the table

Lazypuppy Sun 24-Feb-19 21:51:50

Kids have to learn how to sit through a meal.

Our rules our conversation during the meal, then once they've eaten can get down to play and leave adults to chat, but they have to have eaten and joined im conversation to some.extent (age dependent).

5yo should be able to sit a table for a roast with no problems, 3 yo should be ok for 20mins or so, 1yo easy as they'll be in a highchair

edwinbear Sun 24-Feb-19 21:52:55

I gave up on Sunday roasts when mine were that age. It was more stress and upset than it was worth. We’re now back on them at 7 & 9 and it’s a far more enjoyable experience all round.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sun 24-Feb-19 21:54:49

As long as they really do run off and play, I'd be delighted and enjoy a lovely uninterrupted lunch with actual conversation. They won't starve - who cares if they don't eat it?

Unfortunately my DS would have got down, then returned every 30 seconds pestering for alternative food, me to play with him, me to find something for him, me to watch him do a poo, etc. So many meals ruined (sob).

lostinthoughts Sun 24-Feb-19 21:55:00

Edwin I gave up for a while too after slaving away for hours over a roast only for them to piss about but then as other PP's have said, i feel like I need to keep at it otherwise they won't learn that they need to sit still and talk etc. We have pretty much given up on meals out though as it's just £60's worth of hell

Auntiepatricia Sun 24-Feb-19 21:59:22

Lazypuppy, you make it sound so easy, what age are your kids? Depending on my 1 yr olds mood yes he might be fine for a bit in the high chair if constantly offered new and interesting food and distraction and attention (so my meal is usually untouched) but other times will scream and fight the straps and the whole meal can be overshadowed by him alone. The 3 yr old can also lose it and although she will stay in her seat and not break the rules she will scream and cry the place down. The 4 yr old might just decide the food is yuck and is ‘not eating it’ which combined with one or both of the younger screaming and crying is just fucking miserable. So yes, the aim is a lovely conversation and some eating but often is just me with my head in my hands.

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis Sun 24-Feb-19 22:00:24

My 3 have always had to sit at the table until everyone's finished eating. I agree, you need to stick at it, make it clear that it is an expectation.

We are fairly easy going parents generally (tbh a bit slack in many other areas) but table manners and the expectation of being part of a family meal - eating or not - has always been non-negotiable.

CripsSandwiches Sun 24-Feb-19 22:00:35

Mine could both sit up at 5 years old but at 3 and 1 they would have been nightmares. I also think Kids pick up on the atmosphere sometimes. If your DM is a bit more formal and disapproving they pick up on the tension and try and get away.

Imissgmichael Sun 24-Feb-19 22:03:40

Do your kids really only eat pizza, chips and sausages. Mine at that age ate a full range of vegetables and even salad. I however was never into this ‘kids meals’ crap. On the odd occasion we ate out they were really disappointed with the kids meals selection.

lostinthoughts Sun 24-Feb-19 22:05:25

Imissg of course not hmm

underneaththeash Sun 24-Feb-19 22:06:28

Mine absolutely love roasts and it's the highlight of their Sundays usually....but they're older and our au pair comes over too (which they love).
We only started doing sit down roasts when DD was 3, so DSs would have been 6 and 8.

We always have Yorkshire puddings, 3 veg, meat, gravy, roast potatoes and accompaniments. I managed to bugger up my right hand a couple of weeks ago and currently can't cook and it's not gone down very well.

Auntiepatricia Sun 24-Feb-19 22:06:49

Imissgmichael, well done, 10/10 parenting on the veg and salad 😄

Loopytiles Sun 24-Feb-19 22:07:25

grin @ “1yo easy as they'll be in a highchair” and the salad boasts!

YouWinAgain Sun 24-Feb-19 22:09:36

I bribe my 3 year old with tablet time if she sits and eats at the table on a Sunday...

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