i nanny for 3 girls...8, 10, and 4. the 4 year old is my patience tester...and here is one of the big things i am having issues with: Meal time! let me explain
when it comes time for dinner, 75% of the time...iCANNOT for the LIFE of me get her to eat in a timely manner. her and her sisters will eat at the same time and then they will finish SO much quicker...and ...we will call her A.R...will STILL be ever so slowly chewing away. I did the thing where i serve A.R half an hour sooner than her sisters...so..at least she finishes when they do...but...i don't think it should take a 4 year old 60 minutes to eat a meal that her sisters can finish in 20.
she eats, then talks, then chews slowly...sometimes, chewing for what seems like eons! it's like those videos of cows you see chewing in slow motion! i don't know what i can do to get her to speed up her eating so we can get to her nightly routine faster...not only that...it would be nice if for once, she got time to play after dinner...often times...i tell her that if she cannot eat in a timely manner...or she just takes an unreasonable amount of time to eat...then no dessert. (often times, because she has taken SO long to eat, that she is WAY past bath time and running into teeth brushing time or into bed time)
tonight, dinner took TWO HOURS because upon taking her 2nd bite, she got fussy because she didn't like the red pepper she agreed to at least try...she had agreed with me...whole heartedly agreed with me...that if she ate the bite and swallowed it and did not like it...she could take the red pepper out and eat as is...welp..nope. as soon as she started chewing it...she gets alll teary eyed and fussy about how she doesn't want to eat anymore (mind you, she has only had 1 prior bite of her fajita, 1 piece of broccoli, and one tortilla chip)...the first time out didn't ease the crying...it wasn't until she spit out what was in her mouth (after i told her it was impolite to spit it out at the table...practicing manners and all that)...
but then, she didn't want to eat. her go to excuse/response when she gets fussy and has to do something she does not want to do...is to say "i miss mommy" when in reality, she means to say "i don't like what you are making me do and i just don't want to do it so here come the water works"
so, i gave her one last time out to get it out of her system...and that helped tons...and she agreed to eat her dinner...but fdjkldfjlsdlffjkld she STILL took FOREVER.
does ANYONE have any advice for how to resolve this!? i mean...on one hand...i want her to eat a decent dinner...and i know she can eat...i've seen her eat quickly at lunch...but it's DINNER that i have issues with! do i set a time limit for eating...and if she doesn't finish in that alloted time...take away her dinner and get her to bed? i know it won't hurt the child if i send her to bed one or two nights still hungry...but..i dunno.
i am just losing my patience at dinner.