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18 month old won't stop throwing food

3 answers
My 18 month old son is well behaved and easy going in all but one category. For months now, he has been throwing food. Often because he is done, but sometimes just for fun. (He knows baby signs and can tell us he is finished, and he used to, but he has decided that throwing is more fun.) He seems to think it is a game when I discipline him. (Never in any other situation, just in this one.) I've tried everything I can think of. Staying calm and explaining "we do not throw food"; Saying no sternly and frowning; yelling and smacking his hand; taking everything away as soon as he throws anything and ignoring him for a few minutes afterwards. Sometimes he laughs when I'm stern or yell, sometimes he cries for being reprimanded. Regardless, he does it again and again, at home and in public. Help!

answers (3)

Well explain to him that it's not good at all and you are very disapointed in him.You know what it's like when your parents say ''im not mad im just very disapointed in you'' it hurts alot more for them to say that then to yell. LOL! good luck.
My son is 21 months; I like to say he's a member of the clean-tray club.  When he's done eating, he cleans his tray by sweeping all the leftover food to the floor.  :) So I feel your pain.  First, any food he dumps, I wouldn't give him back.  No matter how much you want to try to recycle it - DON'T give it to him.  This isn't for sanitary reasons (though they're important) so much as it is because you need to teach him that food he throws doesn't return. Second, be consistent in the discipline.  The one I've found really works is time-outs.  If you want throwing food to get an immediate time out, then do it.  My son's time-out is in his pack-in-play in another room.  I tell him why he's going there and that he'll stay for one minute.  (The general rule is 1 minute in time out per years of age.)  He screams bloody murder for the minute (or so, I don't really watch the clock, I'll admit) and then I go get him, reminding him that I love him but that he can't do whatever.  Usually this curbs the behavior - USUALLY.  Sometimes there's several time-outs in a row, and on one noteable day, we had 7 (all for different reasons!).  But mostly, he's stopped doing the things that put him there, within a week of starting the process. Third: be FIRM.  Don't give in.  And maybe, while he's doing this, don't eat in public places.  (Sucks, I know.  I hate it too - but I hate being THAT MOM more.) Good luck.
Little ones do this for attention, which is why he laughs when you try to discipline him. He's turned it into a game and he thinks it's funny when you play along. When my kids went through this I used the "two times" rule. If they dropped their food (or spoon/fork/etc.) once I would pick it up. Then I would tell them not to do it again. I would tell them to eat their food, use their spoon, etc. If they dropped it again I would pick it up, tell them not to do it and that if they did it again I would take it away. It only took a few times of sitting in their chair with no food for them to figure out that it wasn't a game and they stopped doing it on purpose.

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