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Mealtime can be the best time of day for some families, while for others, it becomes their worst nightmare. Moreover, depending on what is put on the table, if it is a dish that the little ones do not like or it is one of their favorites, the atmosphere of the food can vary a lot.
When we find ourselves in the situation where the child refuses to eat, when his bad mood increases to the point of finding ourselves in front of a little boy who fumes, what can we do? How to manage children's tantrums at lunchtime?
Prevention is better than regret in the first place. Young children have difficulty handling certain situations that are beyond their "control", the younger they are, the greater their difficulty. In addition, seizures are greater when the child is in an unfamiliar situation - when they are offered a plate for the first time - and when they are tired - they are offered lunch or dinner very close to bedtime or nap . They are also aggravated when mealtime catches you off guard, that is, when you were doing something, playing, painting ... and is withdrawn without prior notice. To avoid these triggers, we can:
- Warn several times that it is time for lunch.
- Adjust the schedule so that the child does not arrive tired.
- Offer new dishes accompanied by other familiar ones, without waiting for the new dish to be the main meal. When the child has become familiar with the new dish, we can try to make it the main dish.
If in spite of this we find ourselves faced with the children's tantrums at lunchtime and they refuse to eat, it is better to remain calm and adopt as positive an attitude as possible while we consider our options.
- If we get find out the reason for your tantrum, we can perhaps better choose how to approach our performance. Perhaps it is the peas, who are touching the chicken fillet and that has an easy solution, asking them, listening to them and assuring them that we understand their anger can ease the storm.
- In case the reason does not have an easy solution, the most important thing is get the tantrum to pass, because in that state it is not advisable to insist or force him to eat. Distractions can be used to calm him down off the table and then sit him back down once he's passed and try again.
- If it is an attitude that the child uses persistently Each time he sits down at the table, the best approach is to warn him that this is what is for food, what is going to be offered until dinner, and that mealtime lasts 30 minutes (or we have decided), after which the plate is removed until the next meal.
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