Since the kids eat breakfast and lunch in the daycare this one meal in the evening is even more important to me.
But for some time now we were struggeling to have an enjoyable dinnertime. My oldest has a hard time sitting still and since I can remember she has a hard time using fork, spoon and knive instead of her hands. They all want to talk at the same time and sometimes start to fight.
Last week I made a small poster where the basic rules are visually stated. The icons are not mine- I just took them from the internet. I could have drawn something myself but had no time and I was so fed up with dinnertime that I urgently wanted to try this visual way of stating the rules instead of always repeating myself in telling them what to do and what not.
And- it worked!!!!
I fixed the rules on the wall beside the table. Before we ate, I went with the kids over the rules and asked them to try to stick to them. Here and there I silently pointed to the rules during the meal.
It works nicely since them. Not always perfect, but MUCH better and they even remind themselfs by checking out the rules (Like- "oops, I still need to clear my things from the table...")
What do you do to have a pleasent meal? Any other tricks?
Translation of the rules on the poster:
- wash your hands (before and after the meal)
- use cutlery
- don't shout
- wait your turn (for talking)
- be nice (say thanks and please and don't fight)
- clear the table