>Question of the Day: Company and your Children

>I need some advice. If you have children, what do you do to help keep them entertained when you have company over for a visit and are making dinner too?

Typically when I cook dinner, my son gets to watch television, but I felt yesterday, when my parents came over for a visit and dinner (we were grilling burgers and making other things), I felt it would be rude to allow him to watch television, when they are here to see all of us.

I also don’t want to just plug him in front of the TV, though honestly sometimes it feels like the safest things altogether, because he can’t get into harm and he’s also happy while people are here. Last year holiday dinners were hard that way because he doesn’t have anyone else to play with. I though of buying him a special DVD to watch after Thanksgiving dinner so the rest of us can still sit back and enjoy ourselves and he has something fun too.

Just a few minutes after they arrived, and we started chatting a little, my son didn’t know what to do with himself, and he will just start to act out, doing things like hitting people, or whining and clinging to me. It is really kind of shocking, because he NEVER acts like that, and of course, a bit embarrassing in front of my parents when he will suddenly hit them. I know deep down, that my son is just missing our attention, and wanting some of his own, but I don’t know how to prepare him for that.

I could sure use some ideas. One time, when a friend was visiting we hadn’t seen in a long time, I got my son a new toy, to occupy him for some visiting time. It somewhat worked. I also tried to prep a lot of the food during naptime and just have a meal in the oven. Perhaps those are some solutions too?

It is amazing as a mom how much you need to prepare/premeditate situations and try to be prepared for them. That, I am definitely learning.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “>Question of the Day: Company and your Children

  1. >I feel for you! I don't think I have any advice, but I definitely feel for you. It's tough! Soon, you'll be able to give him "jobs" to help get dinner ready. It definitely takes longer, but gives him focus and attention. Until then, though, I wish I knew…

  2. >I'm not sure how old he is, but your sidebar says "toddler". I would not expect a toddler or any child too young to read (my son is almost 6 and just learning to read; I don't expect this of him yet) to just stay quiet and out of the way while you cook on any night necessarily, but especially not when there's the excitement of company. Of course he wants to be involved in what's going on!Instead of trying to distract my son with something lonely and unrelated, I involve him with one or more of the grownups. He can set the table, scrub potatoes, put ingredients into the bowl, make decorations, or show the guests his toys.You might need to tell your parents that he's always excited to see them and acts up to get their attention, so if they give him attention in the first place he'll behave better! Maybe one of them could play with him while the other one talks with you and later switch. My parents always talk about looking forward to seeing their grandchild, but when they arrive they often seem to be more interested in talking to me and need to be reminded about him!

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