Throwing out another question for all the mom's (or anyone else who cares to comment) out there. Lawrence and I have discussed and tried MANY things, and we've prayed considerably about the various ways our household functions on a daily basis in the mundane tasks of life. One of the areas where we have met little success is mealtime and bedtime with our children, specifically our boys. :)
Specifically, we have daily battles with our boys to eat. They're picky about what they eat and pokey when they eat. Truly, we have tried nearly everything (or at least what we see as viable options for making them eat and moving them along when they eat). Currently, I make one dinner, will improvise a tad to make the meal more palatable for 3 year olds (almost 4), and now have begun setting a timer at the beginning of dinner time for them to eat in an allotted amount of time. We have begun at 45 minutes. Last night, they finished in under a 1/2 hour. Woo Hoo!!
We've disciplined for not eating and/or for playing at the table. We've bribed with dessert (something I never thought I'd do). We've made them go to bed hungry. We've tried saving their dinner for the next morning. We've tried making them separate meals just so they'd eat anything. (I will not do this with any kind of regularity.) We've tried the 2 bite rule. We've bought food type videos for them to watch with the hopes that they'd get excited about eating. We've eaten with other families whose kids are better eaters. We've allowed them any and every kind of dip they'd like. Ranch dressing is working for one of the boys currently, and I am so grateful. We still impliment many of these things, sometimes all of them on the same night. Needless to say, mealtime is EXHAUSTING. And, sadly, it's not only dinner anymore. It's breakfast, lunch and dinner. I feel like a cattle herder, prodding them along at every meal to finish their meal, even breakfast, which never used to be an issue.
Anyone want to offer any suggestions and throw in hope for good measure?! :)
Another area we have trouble is bedtime. We have a routine down pat (except for cleaning up their toys...that is hit or miss at our house still). It takes us easily a half hour to get the kids down completely for bed, and this is without baths on a good night. When we throw in a bath, it could easily take an hour! Again, it's either the constant re-directing, re-focusing or a whole lot of discipline, sometimes both. Is this just normal life having toddlers, particularly two toddler boys of the same age? (Maybe Laurie or Suzanne could chime in here). Again, we're open for suggestions and hope! :)