How to get my two year old to sit still

Parent: How can I get a 2 yr old to sit and eat his dinner

Jackie Hall: This is a tough one because the reality is that you may not be able to.

At this age, she doesn’t understand enough to know why she needs to sit still and you may be at the mercy of repeating the instruction over and over until she gets it.

If she is continually getting up from the table, keep bringing her back and reinforcing the rule that you have to sit at the table. Model the behaviour and show her that the rest of the family is doing it too. Try to find a reason why your 2 year old would WANT to stay up at the table, perhaps by making it fun or funny to be at the table.

I know it’s difficult, but she is at a learning stage and sometimes we have to battle with our adult minds which thinks our children should know what to do and how to do, because that’s what we would do.

But we’ve had years of practicing these skills. They are still learning how to DO life.

Just keep repeating to yourself, “This too, shall pass.”

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About the Author

Jackie Hall is the founder of the Parental Stress Centre, a qualified counsellor, 5-time author, parental educator and mother of two teenage boys. Over the last 14 years, Jackie has worked with over 25,000 parents to create harmonious homes all over the world, helping parents with their own parental stress, depression & anxiety, couples counselling, child behaviour management, parenting education and has written 14 online parenting programs

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