Expectations for Turkey Day
The turkey is ready. The gravy is lump-free. The china is sparkling. The table decor divine. The grands are here and some cousins, too. Let’s all join hands and pray.
How long, friends, will this peaceful Thanksgiving tableau last?
It takes hours to get the Thanksgiving meal ready and minutes for young children to be “done.” Squirming their way out of high chairs and booster seats. Shedding shoes, socks, ties, hair bows. Wrestling with cousins while asking, “When’s dessert?”
Young children have relatively short attention spans (duh!). They generally do best when alternating between still activities and activities that allow for physical movement. The rule of thumb is that a child can attend to a task for 3-5 minutes for every year of age, or 9-15 minutes at age 3. And that’s if they like the food that’s on their plate, right? It’s important to remember the preschool point of view. Young children are not being rebellious by moving around. They are moving because they need to.
A wise parent has appropriate expectations about mealtimes (even on Turkey Day). A wise parent also has some supportive strategies in mind to let young children MOVE or change things up while adults are finishing their meal.
Want more information? Here are some great links...
- My Child Can't Sit Still at Dinner
- Making Holiday Meals Less Stressful
- Family Gathering Survival Guide
Want some fun things for preschoolers to do at the Thanksgiving Table? Check out these simple activities: