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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1768
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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HELP! I have 22 month old boy-girl twins who have been throwing

Customer Question

HELP! I have 22 month old boy-girl twins who have been throwing their food for 3 months now. They definitely feed off of each other, so if one does it and gets the attention of being reprimanded, the other promptly will act out and hurl his/her hot dog across the room. I am 7.5 months pregnant and about to lose my mind and am exhausted during mealtimes - especially at dinner.
Here is what I have tried: verbal reprimand, time out, slapping hands, pulling food away, ignoring it, turning their chairs toward the wall, sticker charts, praising good behavior / praising 'the good one's' behavior, quiet discussion, pointing out other children's good behavior ...
They even mock me and say, "no, no, no!" and "Bad!" while they do it (especially my girl). And they recommit the crime over and over even after apologies.

They do not do this with the babysitter. ARGHHHHH .... please help me gain back the happiness of eating~

Licensed ADULT psychotherapist (go figure!)
Atlanta, G
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.
Hi, Hate to tell you this but they are normal, and do it to you because you react. It will take some time but you can get them to stop this behavior, next time they do it say nothing, pick up the food and throw it away, do not give them snacks either, let them wait until the next meal. Let them down from their chairs and move on with your day. Keep doing this, they are too young for sticker charts, they do not have the cognitive ability to understand a chart...Ha, you are like the shoemakers children who have no shoes or the therapist who can't control their kids! That's normal too, just try and relax. They are enjoying every minute so be consistent (yes, they will be hungry) but the more you react the more they will act out!
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