When it's time for us to eat dinner,
it's very difficult to get my three-year-old daughter to
come to the table. She is busy playing and doesn't want to
stop what she is doing, so sometimes it takes several
attempts to get her to come and eat. What can I do to make
Set up a routine, so that your daughter gets in the habit of coming to dinner when it's time. Eating at generally the same time each day will help. Also, you and your daughter can decide together on a signal that means it's dinner time. You can ring a bell, use one of her puppets or stuffed animals to tell her it's dinner time, or use some other signal that you and she agree upon. It helps to give young children a 5-minute warning before a transition, e.g. "In five minutes, it will time for dinner."
Source: Kim Leon, Ph.D., Former Assistant Professor and State Specialist, Human Development & Family Studies, Human Environmental Sciences Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009