Thursday, May 8, 2014

Toddler in Training: The ever-stressful topic of mealtime.

Meet JOHN!!! 

This is John.  He is eating.

He is eating cream of wheat.  

It looks like he likes to eat.  

But that is not the case at all.  

Did I mention he is almost 2 years old?  He is potty training, cutting teeth, AND he has a runny nose?  He also doesn't really nap regularly anymore.  This all can affect things.  By "things", I mean eating!  

Here is the back story behind the pictures.  John was up at around 7.  He drank from his cup.  He ignored breakfast.  He does this pretty much every morning.  So, I am now getting serious.  He usually tries to get a drink (milk or watered down juice) to fill his tummy rather than eat food.  He does this by grunting, pointing, saying "milk", and swatting at me.  

So we come to today.  When he started this ritual, I calmly explained that he had to eat his breakfast before having more to drink.  


I stayed strong.  I kept explaining that he may not have a drink until he ate his breakfast.  He then walked away from me in a fit.  Fussing, running nose, drooping shoulders and head hung low.  I ignored him and kept working with Emmett on his test.  

YAY!!  Success.   He was eating!  He was actually eating!!  Did my eyes dost deceive me??

While I was ignoring him, he wandered back in the room and got up in the chair like a big boy, grabbed the spoon and the rest, as they say, is history!  

So here is the point.  If you have a toddler who you are trying to "train" to do something (you know, like you would with a brand new puppy) then...
  1. Be consistent
  2. Speak calmly 
  3. Don't give up!  
It is so easy to give in to fussiness just to make it stop.  

BUT, it is so hard to stay calm, stay focused and speak clearly and calmly!  You can read all the parenting books you'd like, but really this is not rocket science.  Staying calm is the key.  It really is.  When you are tired, getting interrupted every five seconds, busy doing housework or teaching AND you have to discipline or train your child, then some things tend to fall by the wayside.  It takes so much energy!  

But I am here to say that you can do it.  Today, in this blog post I am celebrating a little victory in the world of child rearing.  I know it is unhealthy for John to keep relying on drinks to fill his tummy.  Now that he is almost 2 and can understand much more, I am setting the limits and being consistent.  

Ah, and what is the reward?  He ate the whole bowl of cream of wheat, hopped down from the chair and ran off to play contentedly somewhere else in the house.  

When I was teaching in public school,  I didn't have these kinds of interruptions while I was testing.

Looking back,  I don't know how I even got through each day when there was no...


Happy parenting, everyone!  

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