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At what age would you expect a child to...

(27 Posts)
Rantmum Tue 07-Aug-07 17:49:37

sit at the table at mealtimes until everyone (adults included) have finished eating?

I have a friend who does this with her lo, whereas I let ds (2.5) leave the table when he has finished eating as long as he has asked to be excused nicely. Just curious, what do MNers do?

Rantmum Tue 07-Aug-07 17:51:58


JoMa Tue 07-Aug-07 17:52:48

ds1 who is almost 4 has to stay at the table if he is choosing not to finish his food until everyone else has finished, but if he eats all his before everyone else I let him go off

FluffyMummy123 Tue 07-Aug-07 17:52:55

Message withdrawn

hertsnessex Tue 07-Aug-07 17:53:04

i let mine get down - they are 2.5 and 3.5 - its no big deal - i dont often eat out with ladies and lords!!!!


charmkin Tue 07-Aug-07 17:53:54

everyone sits at table till we have all finished from day 1. is the rules. Can't have kids running around while there are other people eating.
mind you, use of booster with straps helps that. they can do colouring at table if ness.

dayofftomorrow Tue 07-Aug-07 17:53:59

about 21 or 22, seriously though I asked them to stay until all the children had finished right from when they are in a normal seat - the children can then go and chat and play together and the adults can then talk together

charmkin Tue 07-Aug-07 17:55:07

although like cod say if adults visiting then kids can go so adults can drink wine and eat cheese

ktmoomoo Tue 07-Aug-07 17:55:30

we have always sat at table till everyone finished , even as babbies in their highchairs would all sit together till finished it was how i was taught as a child too i think it good manners [im not getting at anyone who does not do this as everyone has different rules , im not saying mine are the correct ones

AnAngelWithin Tue 07-Aug-07 17:55:51

all 4 of mine do. ranging from 18 months to 8 years. they always have unless excused.

Rantmum Tue 07-Aug-07 17:58:57

Do you think there is a cultural element to this - I have family and Europe and they expect children to eat with the family, but they are always excused to go and play before the adults leave the table.

I can see the logic Charmkin in making a very easy rule, but my worry is that ds just starts to get restless and tetchy and then the mealtime becomes about disciplining him rather than having him learn by example by watching adults enjoy conversation over food?

pagwatch Tue 07-Aug-07 18:01:53

We all do and kids always have so they see it as completely normal and not something that is a duty.
We do make sure though that they are given a share of attention and are engaging at their age appropriate level so we do listen politely as 4 year old tells us stuff about her day etc. But if we get into adult mode then they are excused - my sister was down recently and we had loads to catch up on over dinner so kids were excused. Eldest one stayed though and enjoyed tales of our childhood etc which was kind of nice.

PrettyCandles Tue 07-Aug-07 18:04:14

I remember as a child being allowed to get down once we'd finished eating - all children together, including any guests. We'd go off and play while the adults chatted. But there came a point when some of us would want to stay with the adults, for whatever reason, and that just developed naturally. We didn't need to watch adults combining food and conversation because we knew it was going on, and we could dip in and out of it whenever we chose.

We don't have a hard-and-fast rule about when teh children can get down. But we do insist on "Please may I get down?" first.

Tommy Tue 07-Aug-07 18:05:32

always a tricky one in our house!

If we have people round then I let the children get down after their main course and come back for pudding but, according to my FIL, that is a grave sin.....

Agree that mealtimes can be stressful enough without the added arugument about this

Rantmum Tue 07-Aug-07 18:06:52

Yeah, I am sort of talking about when we have friends over (at home there are only the 3 of us so we all eat together and ds gets much more of our attention so is happy to sit with dh and I until we are finished) but when there are other children and lots of adults and adults are trying to have a conversation, it seems sensible to let the children be excused, but it is interesting that other people see this differently.

MaloryTowersHasManners Tue 07-Aug-07 18:09:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aloha Tue 07-Aug-07 18:11:50

God, I hate it when a mealtime turns into 'No, William, you must stay here. Yes, I know you are bored. No, you may not get down. I know you are finished....what were you saying...Stop kicking your sister!...yes, what was that...oh for god's sake, just sit quietly....yes dear lovely picture...sorry, what were you saying?"

LIZS Tue 07-Aug-07 18:14:06

Depends , ours have pretty much since they could eat properly, definitely from 2 1/2-3, unless it is a long sociable meal such as with friends over, in which case they can ask to get down .

wulfricsmummy Tue 07-Aug-07 20:28:44

Message withdrawn

Tortington Tue 07-Aug-07 20:38:43

if we had guests i would expect them to show that they know table manners from age 5 or 6.

at home i wouldn't make them sit there. they are excused when they ask.

berolina Tue 07-Aug-07 20:38:56

We let ds (2.2) climb down when he's finished, although we are teaching him and increasingly insisting on other aspects of manners (please, thank you, asking instead of just grabbing my or dh's cup or bread roll...). I assume it will fall into place eventually if we lead by example. Am very much of the pick-your-battles school of thought.

Pitchounette Tue 07-Aug-07 21:33:08

Message withdrawn

Rachmumoftwo Tue 07-Aug-07 21:44:36

We all eat together, but if the children have eaten enough, and ask nicely, I let them leave the table. This then gives us a few minutes adult time (oh so rare).

Elibean Wed 08-Aug-07 09:33:03

dd 3.5 has to ask to get down from table, but if she's had enough and wants no desert, I usually let her. If she has a friend eating with us, she always waits until her friend has finished then they can both get down - and dh and I can enjoy some peaceful eating

I think we'll start expecting her to stay put for longer when she's about 4, but with dd2 at the toddler stage by then I'm not sure how that will work in practice....

Elibean Wed 08-Aug-07 09:34:32

Ah, just read Pitchounette's post: answers my nicely, thank you Pitchounette!

(we nearly always all eat together too, btw)

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