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All parents want family meals to be quiet and relaxed, and that our children behave appropriately at the table. The psychologist Silvia Álava gives us some advice on how to achieve good behavior from children at the table. It is necessary to give the act of eating the importance it has, avoiding distractions, and establishing the ideal conditions to maintain good communication at the table are some of the keys that this child psychologist proposes.
Getting children to maintain good behavior at the table is easier than it seems, especially if parents educate them from a very young age. You can start from when they are babies. Silvia Álava gives us ideas on how to do it:
1. Children should know that when we are eating, even if it is a bottle, we are eating and we are not doing anything else.
2. We must avoid distractions. The television should be off and adults should set an example by not answering the phone or doing several activities at the same time. We are just eating and giving the importance to food that it really has.
3. A mistake we usually make is to say to the child: "Be good at the table." But what is that? The child does not know. We have to define it and follow rules that will be very clear: you eat everything that is served; no nonsense is done, it is an order that children understand perfectly, it is not necessary to define and we eat within the time we have established.
4. The habit of eating well is the same as the habit of studying, maintaining hygiene, sleeping, etc. If we teach children what it is to behave well and we make it very clear to them, but with few basic commands that allow us to encompass the set of all eating habits, we will be able to regulate the habit of eating.
5. It is essential to educate the behavior of children at the table since they are small, so then at 7 or 8 years old they will eat wonderfully without having made much effort and without having developed any problems.
For children who are older and we see that they do not behave well, Silvia Álava gives us some advice:
1. We should sit down with them and explain what they have to do at a meal. In this way, they will know what they have to do to eat well: we are going to obey, we are going to take the silverware and not eat with our hands, you are not going to bother your brother, you are not going to talk with your mouth full ... .
2. Once the explanation of what they have to do at that meal is done, we can give them a small prize at the end. When they have been doing it well for a week or 15 days, we will go out to eat somewhere that he likes. Meanwhile, we will not go outside. They have to earn the award and conquer it with their good behavior.
Marisol New. Editor of our site
You can read more articles similar to Rules of conduct for children at the table at mealtime, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.