Four-year-old Devin was having a difficult time at dinner. Most nights he came to the table angry and only picked at his food. What puzzled his family was that Devin was talkative and happy at breakfast and lunch.
Devin’s mother tried to figure out what was wrong. Fixing Devin’s favorite foods did not help. Making jokes only made things worse. Then she thought about what happened right before dinner. Most nights Devin watched a couple of PBS KIDS television programs. When Devin’s mother looked more closely, she saw that his favorite show began just before they sat down to dinner. Was Devin unable to say he needed more time to finish watching his show? Was his anger a way of saying he was frustrated?
Devin’s mom decided to see if she was right. She had the family begin dinner after Devin’s favorite show was over. When dinner started later, Devin ate and talked throughout the meal. Everyone was more relaxed. This was a change the family agreed to make to support Devin and enjoy the family meal together.