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  1. #1
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    Default Behavioural Expectations at dinner table

    What should we expect from my 32 month old?

    I’m relatively relaxed but my wife gets quite annoyed with our daughter playing with her food and generally messing and making unnecessary messes (to be fair to my wife our daughter is mischievous and clearly knows what’s she is doing)

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    No she doesn't clearly know what she's doing. She's 3! I think I'm going to have to back away from answering your questions because every single one has been a complaint about this little girl and what is about to come out of my mouth is not very nice. Whether she's not sleeping or not behaving well enough when she just gained a new sibling, your wife seems to have a problem with her behaviour. She seems almost endlessly frustrated at her. I think your wife is precious and needs perspective, sorry.

    And with that, I'm out.

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  4. #3
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    She’s not even 3.

    My 12 and 10 y/o’s still make a mess. They still pick at their food. They still don’t consistently use cutlery. My eldest knocked her drink over regularly and fell off her chair regularly until she was at least 7. At least 4 times a week. No joke!

    From reading your posts it sounds like you’re always “battling” with your daughter over something. Ease up a bit. Praise her for any good things she does and pick your battles on any undesirable behaviour.

    Remember though she is not even 3 yet.

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  6. #4
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    Default Behavioural Expectations at dinner table

    She’s still little. Lighten up ! Let her be a child and give her a break. Poor kid. I feel for her . I think you and your wife need to lower your expectations of this poor little person . You both sound precious not just your wife.
    Last edited by granny1; 20-01-2021 at 19:57.

  7. #5
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    My DS is almost this exact age... he spills his drink constantly, throws food on the floor (intentionally & on accident), uses cutlery 60% of the time the rest is just his hands, he stills asks me to blow on his food sometimes even though he’s more than capable, the list goes on...

    Whenever we have spaghetti bolognese he eats with his hands most of the time and ends up wearing sauce to the point he has to be bathed straight after.

    I understand it can cause some frustration but for the sake of what? She’s eating and happy so what if she makes a little mess, she will learn & improve as she gets older.

  8. #6
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    32 months old.. so just over 2.5 years old?

    I would say that while it's frustrating, it's highly age appropriate. She sounds like she's just exploring her food.

    My 9year old still eats with his hands and we are forever reminding him to use cutlery, but that's it. We are reminding him. Which in turn will teach him, and eventually, one day, he will eat properly with cutlery.

    It takes a LONG time to learn to be an all round well mannered, well behaved person - some adults still haven't mastered it relax! She's not perfect. She's 2.5. She's a work in progress that's just started.

    Step back and look at the wonder in her eyes as she explores her food and the world around her.

    She's going through so much growth right now, her mind is going so much faster than you'll ever know.

    It takes a lot of restraint to sit still, sit quietly, and eat with perfect table manners. Again, I know many adults lacking in this area. Heck, mine aren't perfect either but my parents have given up on caring. If I belch at the table during family dinners - we all giggle now 🤣 and my younger brother will try to outdo me with his ABCs we're in our 30s we joke about "pea-ing" on the table if someone spills their peas 🤷🏼‍♀️

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    Quote Originally Posted by EnchantedGrace View Post
    Step back and look at the wonder in her eyes as she explores her food and the world around her.

    She's going through so much growth right now, her mind is going so much faster than you'll ever know.
    Brilliantly said.

    @firsttimefather - Okay, I've had enough sugar to calm me down. Your daughter and my son are the same age, both being born in April. He eats with a spoon/fork 90% of the time, but still manages to get food on his chubby cheeks, nose and shirt. Sometimes he eats very quietly until the last bite and and sometimes he feeds his belly button because it was a hungry dinosaur. He doesn't mess around much with his food (unless it's long spaghetti in which it becomes slimy worms), but what he mostly loves to do is to tip his bottle upside down and watch it drip slowly... He watches the milk drops join to form a small milk puddle, as he learns about how liquids behave. He drips the milk down ramps, on fabric, and basically everywhere. Why does my milk sometimes disappear (absorbed in fabric) and sometimes run away (drips down a plastic toy)? It must be magic and I now must try it everywhere. This is the mind of a child.

    I watched this great video by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and he talks about how we essentially starve the wonder (and scientific exploration) out of children through compliance and adult thinking/expectation. Please take some time to watch it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIEJjpVlZu0

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    My 14yo slurps his cereal, somehow bites his spoon and still leaves a mess reminiscing of a toddler. My 11yo prefers fingers to cutlery. They both don’t sit properly and have to constantly be told, they knock stuff over numerous times a week. They scoff down the meat and proceed to whinge about eating vegetables until threaten no dessert.

    Whatever age they’re at they are learning - what they like/don’t like/what boundaries they can push. Keep showing them the good habits and hopefully one day it will all come together

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  13. #9
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    Hah, thanks all

    I never get annoyed with my daughter personally and agree with you all

    So how do I help my wife understand this without her thinking I’m not supporting her and just making it worse? (My wife is stubborn so if she thinks she is right + I’m not supporting her she will just dig her heels in)

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by firsttimefather View Post
    Hah, thanks all

    I never get annoyed with my daughter personally and agree with you all

    So how do I help my wife understand this without her thinking I’m not supporting her and just making it worse? (My wife is stubborn so if she thinks she is right + I’m not supporting her she will just dig her heels in)
    Get her to follow some feeding specialists on Instagram maybe. I like kids eat in color and dr kyla I’m sure there is more.

    Your child is so age appropriate by the sounds of it. I personally hate the mess and carry on at meals but I know it’s normal and that I just have to deal with it

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