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  #1  
Old 05-30-2011, 09:15 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Default Teaching Them To Chew With Their Mouth Closed

I taught my DD last summer and a DCG (both girls were about 2.5) that I had at the time through the simple expedient of explaining that they need to chew with their lips together. Voila! Instant success and no more slurping, smacking, horribly obnoxious noises.

Now I have a 3 yo dcb and a 2 yo dcg who are AWFUL at the chewing with their mouths open and making TONS of noise while they chew. I have tried several different methods and I think I'm just out of luck until both kids are older...although I can't stand to be at the table with them right now.

The DCB, I tell him to chew with his lips together (or mouth shut, or chew quietly, or various other phrasings) and he looks at me and grins and opens his mouth more while he chews. Or he looks totally confused and just sits there staring at me blankly. Sometimes he'll try chewing a couple times, and manage to keep it closed, and then promptly go back to smacking and slurping no matter how much I praised him for doing it right. If I keep on him, he just quits eating, so I gave up.

The DCG...she just looks at me and keeps eating. Or bursts into tears (of course, "here sweetie! Eat your snack!" is enough to make this one cry sometimes). She is definitely not ready to learn this I guess.

I'm at a loss though...I can't stand it, it's awful, they are both really bad but the techniques I have aren't working. Suggestions???
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2011, 09:22 PM
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sharlan sharlan is offline
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Duct tape??????????

This is probably my #1 pet peeve at the table. I would rather they eat with their hands than slurp.

Do either of them have sinus problems? I had one that had so many sinus issues, ended up with surgery. It was nearly impossible to teach her to close her mouth while eating. I would gently tap her lips or pinch mine to remind her.

Crying at the table is reason enough to be removed from the table until crying is stopped.

Last edited by sharlan; 05-30-2011 at 09:24 PM. Reason: added
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:37 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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hee hee hee, duct tape...somehow I don't think that would fly but man it's a funny mental image!

Neither has sinus issues...the dcb seems to have some delays in speech, and possibly some motor delays. He also has a stubborn streak a mile wide
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:10 PM
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Sometimes I think it would be nice to use a tad of duct tape and a velcro wall for those days when they just can't sit still.

(I am just kidding, I would never do either one.)
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:33 AM
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I solve this by small bites. Small ... tiny chopped bits to be picked up one by one and chewed up one by one.
or...

bowled food on a BIG plate that's spread out in a thin layer to cover the whole plate eaten by a very small baby spoon.

If they are eating with their mouth open they have too much in their mouth. It has to be small enough that they naturally keep their mouth shut to make sure it STAYS IN.

Just think how you would move your mouth with a delicious piece of chocolate that was tiny... like the size of a pencil eraser.

That's how kids mouth small bites.

Keep the traffic to the mouth slow and the bites small. Once they have to WORK HARD to get the food in there... THEN you can say... well I can give you a regular spoon, bowl, and regular bites but only if you can eat them the way you eat the little bits.

Give them the choice of something hard over something easy. Show them what hard IS... then they will see that the "easy" thing you are asking is WAY easier than the hard thing you had them do.

Human babies will do what is EASIEST for them.... ya just got to show them hard.

(if they have a muscle tone issue the small bits will strengthen their chewing muscles in a couple of weeks)
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:58 AM
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I really like Nan's suggestions! Other than that, I'm of no help...sorry! I haven't paid much attention to my kids eating at the table...now I will haha.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
The DCG...she just looks at me and keeps eating. Or bursts into tears (of course, "here sweetie! Eat your snack!" is enough to make this one cry sometimes). She is definitely not ready to learn this I guess.

I'm at a loss though...I can't stand it, it's awful, they are both really bad but the techniques I have aren't working. Suggestions???
Well, here is what I have done with my DC boys: Chew with your mouth closed or get up from my table. They immediately begin chewing with their mouths closed. I haven't had one to ignore me, yet! I guess if you don't like being authoritative, you probably couldn't do this. Not authoritarian, but authoritative.

If they cried like your DCG, it would not bother me in the least. I was super-sensitive as a child and I wish my mother & babysitters had not tip-toed around it and told me to get a grip. I have had some very stubborn dc kids in my time, and they learn very quickly that what I expect is what they are to do. If there is something that I would not allow my own children to do, then the DC kids will not do it either, I don't think it is too much to expect from them.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.meg View Post
Well, here is what I have done with my DC boys: Chew with your mouth closed or get up from my table. They immediately begin chewing with their mouths closed. I haven't had one to ignore me, yet! .
Yes if you can solve it by just saying words to them once then of course use that technique.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:33 AM
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All of my dcks eat with their mouth closed except one. I have never removed him from the table b/c of it but maybe I should. He is 3 and eats so fast he is done in 3-4 min no matter what. GROSS. I have a radio in the kitchen just so I don't notice their habits. ; (
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:47 AM
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I had this issue before also and was given some awesome advice by catherder that worked wonders... this is what she said:

"I wanted to give a suggestion.

Instead of having mealtimes be class-time, have a "Table Manners Circle Time". You can have them all practice chewing with their mouths closed with Starburst or Skittles. Both are very chewy and will give them lots of fun practice.

I do "Munchy Math" and "Crunchy Colors" all the time, the kids love it and they retain the information well.

(Munchy Math can be counting, adding or subtracting with trail mixes, mini marshmallows, cereals, etc.)

(Crunchy Colors is typically done with M&M'S, Skittles or Sixlets.)"


I think this is the neatest idea and really worked wonders for the kiddo I had issues with. Now he is my star student for table manners!!
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I had this issue before also and was given some awesome advice by catherder that worked wonders...
I am so glad it worked for you!!! It is one of our favorite Circle Times.

I just had miserable meal time experiences as a child at school being forced to "sit up straight", eat everything on my plate, "no talking", "stop fidgeting", etc. etc. etc. that I dreaded eating in a group.

Mealtimes are for nutrition, Circle Time is for learning. It is just my viewpoint, though, from childhood memories. Not everyone agrees.

We are doing "Colors of Summer" this week. We all needed a pick me up after the last couple weeks with Summer flu/bronchitis/scarlett fever, etc....

Yesterday was Blue/Purple... Blueberries (they picked them off the bushes and washed them, too ), Raspberry Popsicles and Grapes.

Today is Red/Pink ... Fresh Bing Cherries, Watermelon and Strawberries.

Looking forward to snapping "sourmug" digital shots of Green/Yellow day...Grapefruit, Lemons and Muscadines.

Gotta love summer!!!
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2011, 08:12 AM
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My own children I have this problem with...and the source of my problem is their own FATHER!!!! I have countless discussions at the table with him about this. His response..I am too old to teach new tricks. I keep telling him his children eat the way he does - they always have some things I can live with..that part uggghhh! Drives me bananas. They do good if they know I am watching - so I try to watch all the time LOL hoping it becomes habit for them.
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