Let’s Talk About Eating in Front of the TV
When it comes to parenting, I believe in the notion of being strict about a few things, and being lenient about most things. Pick your battles. Know what you feel strongly about (for me: strict bedtime and naptime schedules) and what you’re willing to let go (for me: eating in front of the TV).
We eat at the dinner table maybe 50 to 75% of the time. I don’t see anything wrong with eating in the living room in front of the television sometimes, other than the inevitable toddler food spills.
But Theo almost never comes over to his little chair and stool to eat because he’s busy playing with trains, or what have you. Then, when I tell him it’s time for his bath or bedtime, he’s suddenly all, oh my gosh, I have to eat. And then I have to stand there and wait for him to finish, thus pushing back bedtime (see note above on bedtime strictness).
Tonight was the worst. Theo has been behaving much better in general, but tonight he absolutely refused to eat – it was leftover pizza and lasagna, kid-friendly food he normally loves! – even when we moved him to his high chair in the kitchen.
Even when we said he could play with trains after one more bite – which I am positive he understands the meaning of. So I refused to let him play with toys after “dinner.”
When we eat at the dinner table, I think he better grasps the concept of, this is the window frame of time for eating and if I don’t eat now Mommy will not let me eat anything else until tomorrow morning. When we’re in the living room, the food sits there, and he feels like it’s always going to be there for whenever he’s ready.
Well I guess I’ll be pulling up a seat at the kitchen table a bit more often.