Hi all. Ds is going to be 2 very soon, and lately making dinner has turned into a nightmare. I'm not cooking a 7 course meal that takes a lot of time, maybe 20 minutes. He's so miserable during this time. I've tried giving him pots and pans filled with veggies or water for him to "pretend" play with, allowed him to help with things that are not dangerous etc. He just whines and cries while I'm cooking. He also goes for his highchair as soon as I pull out a pot, expecting to eat right away, when I try to explain to him that it's not ready yet. He's not hungry or at least starving at this time, trust me. I just don't know what else to do for him. This is something I have to do, there's not much of a choice. I've tried cooking when he takes his afternoon nap, but it's just not convenient. I've also tried to put on an Elmo tape or something like that, but he just winds up coming in the kitchen screaming because I'm not paying attention to him. He's not tough like this really, at any other time, but dinner.Any suggestions?
Dizzygirl sounds like he is too dependent on you. At 2 he should be able to entertain himself sometimes. I don't think that this is something that a two yr old would come up with on his own. Do you let him have some independence? Sometimes mothers can cause their children to be too dependent on them because the mom doesn't want to let go.
It always seems that both my kids (2 & 3) find it necessary to be in the kitchen with my while I'm trying to make dinner. I'm tripping over them and telling the oldest to get off the counter. With my little one, I put him in his highchair in the kitchen while I'm cooking so he can watch. This way is out from under me and is occupied b/c I'm right there. Give them a small snack to tide him over until dinner (fruit puffs or cherrios for example). This seems to help me out a bit and keep him out of my way Good luck!
could you put him in his chair and give him an "appetizer" of some sort? His behavior is his a way of telling you something; it's just not easy to figure out what the message is. Try different things. Maybe he just wants to sit up high at or near your eye level while your cooking; maybe he wants to pretend to be helping you out; he wants something....Good luck.
I used to let the babies "cook" with me - I emptied out one of the low cupboards, and fillied if with plastic bowls, and spoons and the like - when I cooked they cooked. they had to stay out from underfoot or had to go in the playpen, after a couple times of being removed from the fun, they just stayed out from under me. they could only "cook" when I was cooking, meaining that cupboard was taboo at any other time of the day. worked for all 5 of mine!
Thank you for all of your thoughtful replies, I appreciate it. I have done all of the things you have suggested. he has his own drawer of pots and pans, cups spoons etc. I can't figure out why he's acting up at this time particularly. Maybe ordering pizza sounds good tonight!
When my daughter was younger I would put her in the highchair and either give her some fruit to eat or some crayons and paper to draw with while I was cooking. Kept me from constantly tripping over her and it kept her occupied. Then we would "talk" while I was cooking. Now she is four and ALWAYS wants to "help"!
My son is just over 2 years old. He started this a few months ago. Exactly. He was fine all day long, until dinner. he was not always this bad at dinner, but he just started wining and hanging on my leg. I tried ignoring it but it just got worse. Beleive me, he had his own cabinet, own pots, own food, tried the high chair, tried the real food in a bowel, tried the snacks....nothing worked. I was at the end of my rope.
One day, my husband actually came home early and he saw him whining and hanging on my leg. My husband said it sounded like from the front door that he was screaming "help!" Well, DAH...all i heard was this high screaming in my ears and could not understand him. So it all stopped once I got him his own chair (not a high chair, a big boy chair) next to me and he simply wants to watch and taste the food and just be there with me. Now we have a wonderful dinner expereience and we just talk and he tastes everything, including onions and butter which he loves now....yuck!! But anyway, he might have reached apoint where he wants to be a big boy and stand a big boy chair and watch. I know it is hard to really cook, but I chop everythign now with an electric chopper so i don't have to chop anything and it is challenging, but at least he is not screaming anymore.
Thank you Declansmom- I was thinking of getting him this thing called a "learning tower". It's like a step stool that is enclosed, and can go up to the counter so they can be at the same level as you, hopefully that will work!
There are many suggestions to try and see what works, it's being consistant with doing these techniques over a period of time make goals with your child give approx time you do one thing like 3 months example and when your child don't reach that goal then try a new technique and so forth. My rule with my children was I didn't want them in the kitchen while I was cooking there are too many dangers and I done what I had to do (that is a safety issue for me) still is today they are 16, 15 and 19. I would always put them in there play pen with there favorite toys to play while I prepared dinner there is nothing wrong with your child crying what 20 to 30 min tops in preparation for dinner isn't going to hurt them at all its not like your letting them cry obsessively for 3 hrs. Yes my children cried but when they realized I didn't come running for them they found interest in there toys after awhile your not a bad parent if you let your child cry I was always told its good for there lungs...good luck