A Different Approach
Lately, my step-daughter has picked up a new habit where she shoves so much food in her mouth she cannot chew with it closed and will have trouble chewing and swallowing. She also keeps chewing with her mouth closed. Her IEP wants her to improve her mannerism. But, I don't want her to have better manners for the IEP, I fear she will choke because she puts to much in her mouth. Telling her to not stuff her face, to take smaller bites, and to chew with her mouth closed was getting us nowhere. She would do it just to be a smarty pants and when get mad when we told her once again and to stop with the attitude. That night, a lay in bed and prayed for God to show me a way because our way was not working. An idea came to my mind. I pitched it to my hubby and he agreed.
The next day, we sat down at the table together. I told my husband, "I am going to take small bites."
Steven: "You know what, I am going to take small bites, too."
Me: "And Jonah is going to take small bites, too."
Not wanting to be left out, Jaina said, "Me, too! I am going to take small bites, too." And she did. :)
Then we said, "Well, I am going to chew with my mouth closed." And then Steven and I would compliment each other on how well we took small bites and chewed with our mouths closed. Jaina, not wanting to be left out, did the same. We praised her for that as well.
Oddly enough, this little trick worked. We had her eating properly without telling her what to do and without an argument between her and her father and me arising. It went smoothly and we had a pleasant meal time. :)
I am going to have to be creative and use different approaches for her. We do redirecting which works sometimes, but my creative mind needs to flourish for the rest!