Mealtime around here has always been a little messy...OK, A LOT messy! About a month ago, I decided it was time to teach the kiddos how to eat like civilized people! A LARGE undertaking!!-or so I thought. It actually hasn't been that bad!
Step One: Civilized people don't throw their food on the floor.
We had a couple of different reasons for this: Drew, my picky eater, doesn't want to have anything on his tray that he doesn't like. So, he would throw ALL that he didn't like on the floor. To 'retrain' him, we would give him 3 chances & the 3rd time his tray would be taken away for 5 minutes. It really only took 3-4 times taking it away to stop him. I also added that he could put anything he didn't want on the table, & that seemed to make it ok. Within a week, my floor was MUCH cleaner after a meal.
Ava, who eats anything, has actually been a little more difficult. We still have some issues w/ her. She's a very good eater, but when she's finished she seems to get bored & will throw whatever is left on the floor. So, while we are trying to teach her NOT to do that...we just have to pay attention & take her tray away when she's done!
Step Two: Civilized people hold (to drink) their own cups.
Oddly enough, they have both been able to do this for months, but preferred to (again) throw the cups on the floor at mealtime. About 2 weeks ago, I decided it was time for them to get over that. That's gone fairly well, too. Drew, who loves to be praised, will put his on the table & clap for himself...we all join in & it's a game for him! Ava, stubborn as always, still tosses hers now & again...usually after waiting for me to look at her, just to be sure I know she's doing it on purpose!
Step Three: Civilized people eat off of plates.
Up until now, we've just put their food on their trays. Any attempt to put a plate or bowl on the tray, would end with it(you guessed it) on the floor. Recently, I've tried to put their dinner on plates a couple times(dinner is easiest b/c Jeremy is here to help) & they've seemed more open to the idea. So, this morning, they had waffles & bananas on plates. And it went GREAT! Both plates stayed flat on the tray & they seemed to have no problems eating off of them. I'm not going to assume it's a done deal, but at least this is progress!!