I was eating lunch with my daughter today while my son napped. During that time I noticed that I sat down, tried to have some conversation and finished my meal. My daughters time was spent chatting a little with me, but mostly getting up, running around, taking out a toy, me telling her to put it back and eat, her putting it back, eating some veggie sticks, getting up again to see if the TV magically turned on (child lock baby!), sitting at the table, taking a small bite of PB & J, eating a couple fruit/veggie gummies, getting up to go potty, back at the table to drink some lemonade, and finally giving up and relaxing on the couch. You exhausted yet? This took 45 minutes and as you can see in the picture to the left, there was hardly any lunch eaten.
Major wake up call that I need to do something about this, otherwise she will never learn that she can’t just eat whenever she wants to, especially when she goes to pre-school. This is where the two-fer comes in…as a parent new to the whole pre-school game, I didn’t know that a) it starts like a regular school year does and b) that parents have been signing up their kids since February. My bad. But she is only going to be three so I don’t feel bad that we will be waiting a year to have her start. In the meantime, I will be running my household like she is in pre-school to get her prepared for that first day of school. Meaning, we will be going by a schedule.
This is where my lunchtime experience and the prepping for pre-school marry together. I am hoping that my schedule I will be putting her on will help her to eat better, sit at the table the entire time and finish a meal in the allotted time period. I don’t know, is it wrong to give a kid a time limit to eat and if they aren’t done, too bad? I just remember as a kid, going to school, we had lunch period, the time we were given to sit down and eat. I remember that if the bell rang and you weren’t done, oh well. You had to get to recess or class. When I was in elementary school I remember that we weren’t allowed to leave the table unless we raised our hands and the only reason we could get up was to dump our trays. Bathroom, sorry, had to wait for bathroom break. Obviously, in middle school and then high school, those rules became a little more relaxed, but the one constant is that you only had a certain amount of time to eat. Carries in to the real world too.
If you disagree and think I should not be setting a time limit for her to finish her breakfast/lunch/dinner, leave your reasons in the comments below, I would love to hear them. Otherwise, I am asking, what do you think is a fair amount of time to accomplish eating a meal?