Fifteen minutes to finish

It seems that I'm never able to get dinner completely cleaned up because the kids are still eating by the time I've taken care of everything else. They go away and leave their plates and come back and eat some more later, and half the time they go to bed without ever finishing.

No more. For the past several days, I have started setting a timer for fifteen minutes after my husband and I are done eating. The kitchen is closed after this time.

This has worked wonders for dinner cleanup! I can finally get the table cleared off in a timely manner. I hope that eventually the kids will learn to dawdle less over their dinner. I don't want to rush them, and I do want them to enjoy their food, but I'm hoping this will help them to stop running around, singing, pestering each other, and all those other little things that distract them from eating.

Do you children have a short attention span for their food? Any tips?


  1. It is so frustrating , isn't it? I do remember , my children did the same thing..
    Your solution , sounds like a great idea.. And I bet, in a few weeks, they will
    get use to it, and the finishing supper will get better.. Best wishes

  2. I would ask our son if he needed a seat-belt to keep him in his chair until he finished. Sometimes we used one (a belt from dad). He still is the first one up from the table, but at least he finished eating first. Remember to recited the mantra "This is only a phase, this is not permanent." I promise, children do grow up, acquire manners (with consistent and persistent reminders), and become wonderful teen and adult friends. Motherhood is hard work, press forward with faith, you are doing the most important work of all.

  3. My kids take FOR EV ER to eat. I do sometimes set a timer or something to that effect. It's so tiresome to want to have the kitchen cleaned up and t have to wait for them to stare at their plates. Our problem is the kids don't like to eat anything I make!