Thursday, July 17, 2008

Burping at the table

One parent complained that her child, Chris, often interrupted dinner with many loud, intentional burps. Her attempts at getting Chris to stop had only been mildly successful. What else could she do?

When our children’s behavior is bothering us or someone else, it’s important for us to set an enforceable limit. In this situation mom might say “Chris, we are trying to enjoy being together and eating dinner. However, your burping is bothering me. You can choose to be polite or finish your dinner on the porch.” This gives Chris control of his decision. If he burps again then mom can respond “Chris, please take your plate to the porch to finish.”

What if Chris refuses to leave? Mom might state “That certainly is a choice. However, I don’t think it’s a wise choice because there will definitely be consequences.” Mom can then let Chris know the consequence at some later time once she’s had a chance to think it through.
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