Family dinner is a great time of day. The clang of silverware. The smell of warm food. The murmur of conversation. The screech of the baby bouncing in his saucer. The crash of Drew hitting the floor.
Yes, several weeks ago Drew was having a bit of a problem staying in his chair. He is physically capable, just easily distracted and extemely wiggley. After several nights of falling off, we decided it was time for a strategy.
One of the major values of our parenting philosophy (as gleaned from the Ezzos, Michael Pearl, and Boystown's Common Sense Parenting) is the critical role of teaching. Kids have to be taught every new skill and should be not be disciplined for failing to do what they haven't been trained. That's how it felt with Drew and the chair...he wasn't ever quite trained to sit at the table.
I remembered a training tool of a family that we met a few years back (ok...like 8 years). She would use these long bibs to go under the kids' plates as a teaching tool. We knew Drew wouldn't be too keen on the bib idea, being a very big 3-year old now and deeming all things beneath him as "for Isaac". So we came up with the "dinner cape".
Been two weeks of crash-free dinners. He eats a lot more and is ready to get down a lot faster...a three year old can only sit still so long! When we have guests to dinner, he likes to casually inquire, "So, do you wear a dinner cape at your house?"