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Table manners in 2 year old

(12 Posts)
wonderingwondering Wed 22-Jul-09 18:14:22

DD is 2.2 - she eats quite well but it drives me mad when she starts dropping her food on the floor, mashing it up with her hands, putting and taking food on and off off other people's plates, and pouring her drink on her plate and mat.

I've always taken the view that I expect a lot of her - in that even though she won't behave in a certain way to start with, I encourage to to behave 'properly' so she gets used to it gradually. So I've always encouraged using cutlery, sitting nicely, eating form her own plate rather than mine and so on.

Is she too young for me to be getting cross at the messing around? I know the mashing up food stage is quite an important one when they are weaning but should she be past that now?

Should I punish the behaviour (removing her plate) or is she too young to understand?

JodieO Wed 22-Jul-09 18:16:39

I wouldn't remove plate. I don't thinkt he mashing stage is important at all, mine never had mashed food and weren't interested in doing that when weaning; now ds2 is 2.7 however hmm I think it's normal personally but I do encourage him to stop, he learns from us and his older brother and sister as well.

FairyMum Wed 22-Jul-09 18:19:32

I would gently gently encourage table manners. I would not be cross and rather focus on having a nice relaxed time around the table. I see too many parents turning mealtimes into a battleground and I think that only makes for a stressful unpleasant atmosphere around the table.

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 22-Jul-09 18:20:24

imo, she's a bit young to be 'punished' like that, I think better to do as you are doing - model the correct way to do it, correct her when she does something you don't like - certainly tell her off for taking food off other people's plates or pouring her drink into her meal because that's (again just imo) naughty rather than lack of table manners iyswim, praise her when she does it properly, prompt and remind her etc etc.

eat with her (if you don't already) so she sees it in action.

I took mine to restaurants from a very early age. They loved it. We would leave immediately if they did not behave in an acceptable manner. This taught them far more (and faster!) than all the nagging from me in the world!! grin

mumblechum Wed 22-Jul-09 18:21:10

Agree with Fairymum. They have to learn and imo the earlier the better but not to the extent that it distracts from having a nice family time together.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 22-Jul-09 18:22:13

Too young to be punished.

Just ask her not to mash her food and say it will taste nicer without being squashed.

bubblagirl Wed 22-Jul-09 18:26:19

just keep meal times relaxed dont have high expectations of a toddler but keep correcting and praising good manners my ds soon learnt he still uses fingers at times his 4 i encourage cutlery and his table manners are very good but i never create any problems at meal times

do role play with teddy bears picnic so its mimicked tell teddy off for doing some of the things dd does and mimic correct behaviour then there is no stress around meal times and she's learning through play

wonderingwondering Wed 22-Jul-09 18:32:28

Thanks. We eat out a lot, and she's always really good. Which makes it frustrating when at home, as soon as I leave the table to clear the plates, she's pulling the tablecloth, throwing leftover food on the floor and so on.

Part of me thinks she's too young to expect too much and - as you say - I don't want mealtimes to be a battle. But equally, it does seem to me she knows how to behave, but once she's got through the initial hunger she starts messing about.

But you are right in that me getting cross is counter-productive. I just get so sick of wiping the same bit of floor in the dining room!

wonderingwondering Wed 22-Jul-09 18:36:01

Hecate, you are also right about distinguishing between naughtiness and table manners. It seems to be naughtiness, actually!

LittleMissTuffet Wed 22-Jul-09 20:15:07

She is 2 years old!

thedolly Wed 22-Jul-09 20:23:41

Remove her plate as soon as she has finished eating and don't get up from the table while she is still eating.

brimfull Wed 22-Jul-09 20:26:44

ignore all the bad stuff,praise the good

she is 2 ,that's what 2 yrs olds do

there is yrs yet to instill good table manners..

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