This photo has been used for illustrative purpose only.
Sometimes children like to throw food on the floor rather than eat it during mealtimes. They might eat if you feed them yourself but you may also feel like you need the child to learn how to feed himself.
First of all, you need not worry. The emergence of “throwing food on the floor behaviour” at this age, especially if a dog is waiting below, is indisputable indication that the child’s development, not to mention sense of humour, is proceeding according to plan.
Give your child one small piece of finger food at a time. If he throws it on the floor, ignore him. Continue eating and talking. When he motions toward the floor, pick up the morsel and give it to him.
Do so with great nonchalance, without saying anything or even looking at him. If he throws it on the floor again, repeat the sequence. When you are finished with your meal, clear the table, including his tray, and let him down. When he is hungry, he will let you know. In which case, feed him. Eventually, this too will pass.
The child above may simply be taking innocent delight in orchestrating a “dance” during family mealtimes. This is not a discipline problem but if treated as such has the potential of eventually developing into a major battle over food and eating. In fact, mealtime problems have become, in recent years, one of the most vexing of parenting issues.
To significant degree, this has to do with the fact that today’s parents tend to pay entirely too much attention to their children during mealtimes. They often treat their children like “superstars” at the table, thus giving them a stage from which to perform. These performances usually take the form of picking at and complaining about food and refusing to eat or acting like anything other than ice cream and French fries triggers an involuntary gag reflex.
Pay minimal attention to young children during the family meal. Parents should engage in conversation, only occasionally asking children questions that are not food related. As a child grows, he can be included more and more in mealtime conversation, but “table talk” should never be about food, and the understanding should most definitely be that if one cannot say something nice about the meal, one should say nothing at all.
Under no circumstances should parents ever prepare a child a separate meal.
Tribune News Service
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