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Toddler wont sit at the table at mealtimes

(9 Posts)
loganberry12 Fri 23-Sep-11 14:10:12

meal times have become very frustrating and stressful in our house. My little girl who's 2 refuses to sit in her highchair anymore for meals so we brought her a booster seat so she could sit up the table with us. She wont sit in that either she screams the place down until we let her out, if we do manage to coax her in it she'll only sit there a few minutes and maybe have a couple of spoons of dinner. We've tried letting her sit next to us on just the chair with no booster seat and that doesnt work either, im at my wits end with her at the moment i also have another post on here about her hitting !!!

thisisyesterday Fri 23-Sep-11 14:17:43

well sitting up for meals is one of the things i am fairly strict about

so if it were me i would sit her in the highchair or booster seat and strap her in. if she refuses to eat or just screams then take her out and take her dinner away

if she wants dinner she sits on the seat.

if she gets down then mealtime is over.

Iggly Fri 23-Sep-11 14:20:24

Is this every meal? Does she nap still?

What about giving her some nibbles beforehand in case she's hungry and grumpy - making her more amenable to getting on the chair.

She might be tired before lunch or dinner so won't sit still. DS can get like this.

loganberry12 Fri 23-Sep-11 14:20:56

the problem is she arches right back and kicks and its really hard to get her strapped in, also she doesnt really like eating any way so that would bother her to take her meal away she'd just feel like she'd won the battle !!!

thisisyesterday Fri 23-Sep-11 14:23:33

i think she is too small still to worry about her thinking she has "won" any battles tbh

if she is hungry she will eat.
i would sit her up, let her eat what she wants then let her get down and that's that.

she'll learn eventually by watching you that people sit up and have meals. and that if she gets down she has no meal.

madwomanintheattic Fri 23-Sep-11 14:34:17

we're also pretty strict about sitting still for meals. if they aren't grown up enough to understand they, they go back into a chair with straps.

only big girls who behave like big girls are allowed to use grown up booster seats. those who act like babies get treated like babies and put back in the baby seat and strapped in. noise and fighting, screaming, arching or no. you don't have to be dramatic about it, just explain how it is and refuse to brook any dissent. you are the adult.

<parenting tips courtesy of attila the hun>

it works though.

if she refused to sit in her car seat with the straps done up, would you let her sit on the adult passenger seat and climb around the car? no. of course not. so use the same methodology here.

she doesn't have to eat, but she does have to sit up nicely, at least until she decides she doesn't want any dinner. even if that's for two minutes.

as she gets bigger, you can extend the time she has to sit nicely at the table. it's impractical to get a 2yo to sit for an entire meal as she'll get bored, but she does need to know that she doesn't have the option to carrying on playing when everyone else goes to the table. she can get down earlier, but she has to get up at the same time.

and yes, have some finger food right there so she doesn't have to wait whilst you dish up.

Iggly Fri 23-Sep-11 14:46:43

Also do you just sweep her up and stick her in the chair? We tell DS before meal times that dinner is nearly ready, we talk about what we're having, he watches us prepare etc etc so feels involved.

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 23-Sep-11 14:53:56

I sympathise - I also have a two year old DD who is a nightmare quite challenging at the minute. She went through a stage recently of not wanting to go in her booster seat and would only eat dinner if sitting on my knee. I let her do it few times for an easy life, and so I knew she would eat something. But I realised that was a mistake because that made it even more difficult to get her into her own chair.

So now if she doesn't want to sit down for dinner we just repeat that we all sit together to eat. If she keeps on screaming we ignore her and she doesn't get any food. Eventually she tends to get bored with screaming and not getting any attention and sheepishly comes up to the table to ask for some dinner. It is stressful though - trying to eat dinner with screaming toddler in the background isn't the most relaxing thing!

plantsitter Fri 23-Sep-11 14:54:54

I would just completely relax about it. Anything that becomes very stressful and frustrating for you is perfect control fodder for her, as far as she's concerned. Try giving her the 5 minute warning, plonking her on the chair with dinner on the table if necessary and then make a big deal of having a lovely conversation/ discussing how tasty the meal is etc. I would ignore her if she gets down.

I don't consider car seats the same as that's a safety/legal issue.

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