Marriage and family counselor gives viewers 3 top tips to have a less stressful meal time with the family. For more meal time tips click here:
In This Video You Will Learn:
- How to transition your family to mealtime
- Why rituals help with the transition to dinnertime
- How to make meal times and dinner time fun for the family
Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.
Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host,
Robyn Ackerman. Today I am standing with marriage and family
counselor Beth Chung. Beth, can you give us three tips to make
mealtime a little less stressful?
Beth: Sure. This is such a great question. Mealtimes can be especially
stressful because there are so many components involved. In
exploring this question, I’ll touch on three various components
of mealtime, the first being transitions.
Transitions can be really tough. Oftentimes before mealtime,
kids are watching TV, playing a game, doing homework, and
engaging in activities that they either like or really want to
get done before mealtime, so the switch to mealtime can be
challenging. Something that I would suggest to parents is to use
a warning system, to say, “All right, kids. In ten minutes it’s
time to turn off the TV, put your toys away, and walk over to
the dinner table.” And then another warning in five, and then
two. “All right, guys. Time to turn off the TV. Time to walk
You can either give verbal warnings or you can use a timer. A
timer can be fun because your kids can set it up, and as soon as
the buzzer goes off, they know that it’s time to walk over
together. It’s especially helpful, too, if you can be physically
present to walk them over, walking to the television room,
turning it off, and walking with your children together.
And going along with that, another component is that of rituals.
It’s nice to have a ritual that can signal the transition from
playtime or TV time to dinner time. Something as simple as
walking together and doing a high-five or a hand motion that you
make up together, or singing a song together, to signal that
it’s dinner time. Those things can make it fun and can be a
physical reminder that the time has switched and it’s meal time.
The third component is that of conversations. Dinner time is a
really great time to talk with your children. Talk about how
their day was and see what they’re feeling. You can make this
fun. For example, every day someone can take a turn coming up
with a topic. On Mondays you might talk about robots. On
Tuesdays, you might talk about flowers. You can use other games.
I really like ‘Roses and Thorns’. Everyone gives one rose,
something positive from the day, and one thorn, something
negative from the day. Or the ‘I’m Thankful’ game, talking about
something you’re thankful for about the person on your left.
This can make meal times fun and also educational for children
to practice some of those social skills together.
Those are just some strategies that I would suggest to make meal
time a little more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Robyn: Wow. Thank you, Beth, and thank you to our viewers. And
remember, keep on blossoming.
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