Is it okay for my 5 year old to eat in the living room?

Deda - posted on 01/08/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi moms! My 5 year old always eats in the living room and it bothers me. We only have family time in the weekends to eat all together! He goes to KG and breakfast, dinner and supper time he eats I'm the living room while watching tv. This has became a habit for him. And I don't know how to stop it :(

Have any of you experienced the same problem? I would like to get some suggestions.

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Denikka - posted on 01/08/2013

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I'm with the others. Turn the TV off. Put his food on the table. He eats there, or nowhere.

At this point, I would explain to him that you want him to sit at the table and eat with the family, and that he can watch TV after he's done eating. Don't just drop the ball on him completely unexpectedly, let him know that this is going to be a change.
Yes, there will more than likely be arguments and a grumpy 5yr old for a while. But it'll get better and he'll get used to the new arrangement soon enough.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/08/2013

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If you didn't want him to eat in the living room, you never should have allowed it in the first place. The child is 5, and the first time he wanted to eat separately he should have been told "no".

The fact that he's still doing it, and it bothers you, indicates that you have not done anything to deter the behaviour.

It's simple. As Dove says, turn off the television, put his food at the table. He eats at the table, or he doesn't eat. Period. And before you start fretting about him missing a meal...one meal isn't going to starve him.

Dove - posted on 01/08/2013

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If you don't mind... it's fine. If you do mind... shut the tv off and keep his food where ever it is you want him to eat. He can sit there or not eat.

Barbara - posted on 01/10/2013

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You say that it bothers you and you are still letting him eat on his own in the living room? What is wrong with this picture? You are the mom and if you feel he should be with you having a conversation with you about his day then turn off the tv and start having a sit down meal with your son.

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Julie - posted on 01/27/2013

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If it bothers you, then you should not allow it. Sounds like the "tail wagging the dog" happening to me.

Sarah - posted on 01/21/2013

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I am with the others. If you don't want him eating in the living room then don't let him. However, I am total opposite. I very rarely eat at the table. I always eat in front of the TV or the computer. I never offer my kids their meals at the table. My kids are 2 1/2 and 1. I do however have them eat dinner at the table. We have always done this. They know that dinner must be spent at the table or they don't get to eat. That may change when I don't live with my mom anymore, but for now that is how it is. If you don't like, you and only you can change it. Good luck.

User - posted on 01/16/2013

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I will add more thing: I applaude you for choosing to have your child eat at the table. Sitting at the table teaches your child table manners. And if you all sit together for dinner, it can be a wonderful opportunity to talk about your day. Keeping old traditions, like eating together at the table, can have wonderful long lasting afffects.

User - posted on 01/16/2013

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It's your household so ultimately you make the decision. Your child is 5, he does not decide. If you want him to eat at the table, then place his food at the table. At this point, because he is use to eating somewhere else, your child will fight you on it. Expect it. You just changed his routine. But if you stick to your guns and give him consistency with the "new rule" in the house, then he will eventually get use to it. Also, model for your chidl. You can not expect him to eat at the table if you or the other adult in the house do not.
Hope this makes sense.
I find that parenting is a lot about common sense. I have found the answer to my questions by thinking about it as "what makes sense". you cant make up rules "because you feel like it", or simply this is what fits YOUR needs at this particular time. You set up rules in your home that will make sense every day and that you can stick with.

Angela - posted on 01/15/2013

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Yes, mine do the same she is 4 and half now. every time when i say meals are ready she asked to switch on the TV to watch while eating and she forget about eating sometimes and stares at TV, mostly cartoons. but occasionally she eats with us when we go out and all. i also need to work on this matter.

Debora - posted on 01/14/2013

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I am also guilty of this. It's just my son(5) and I right now, and we sometimes eat in front of the TV. But now, we eat at the table and talk about our day. I have him to make the table. Fold the paper towels into triangles, place silverware, etc., and he loves to sit and talk about his day at school. Also it gives him an example of good table manners, ex.no elbows on the table. And kids are so enjoyable at this age. Believe me, u will enjoy yourself!

Sophia - posted on 01/09/2013

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if it bothers you then.. find out why he wants to eat by himself. make a deal eat breakfast with him on sat. in the living room. ... watch all his shows then tell him he must now eat with you later at the table. I have found out so much about my children by meeting them half way. please dont all ways think of what should be... enjoy what is..... sitting down with my sons I have learn which friend is smoking, drinking and so on from my older 2 kids... just by eating in their rooms with them. the 6 year old I have learned more about his likes / dislikes by also eating at times on the floor with him. just saying so many people think they know their children and they dont. my 21 year old call me almost daily from school just to tell me about his day. I work also and I want to know my children . hope I have help....

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