After reading a post around dinnertime basics with our kids - namely, graduating them from their own toddler table to the adult table and setting the expectations we have during family dinner time - it got me thinking -
why do kids act up anyway? is it something about the kids themselves.. some innate childhood brain activity or overactiveness that makes them act like Tasmanian devils anytime you ask them to sit down for more than 10 seconds?
Turns out the opposite is true - children crave discpline. Structure, order and clear direction are characteristics that not just children, but all of us as part of the human species needs. Its directly connected to our sense of certainty about the world around us. The predictability that comes from habit or ritual is a age old mechanism that lets our primitive brain know that "everything is ok". So if you're reading the above article like I am and thinking - ok lets get here, and Parents.com provides some excellent advice around dinner table manners - there are first some baby steps that can be taken. For example, we have been toddler table training or kids for 2 years. Using their own utensils, plates, taking them back and forth to the kitchen and cleaning after themselves since they were 2 years old. When it came time to move to the big table, our daughter was genuinely excited and provided a great window of opportunity for us to set the guidelines around the big table; many of which directly translated over from the toddler table.
Now that the transition is complete, the toddler table got relegated to arts and crafts which helps us keep some additional order around what is otherwise a compact California household. Whatever your strategy is however, its always important to introduce some routine or 'discipline' and have accompanying tools that support that. Good luck and happy din din time!
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