I want to start by saying that I have incredibly high standards for my children. Higher than most people who use punishments. At the same time, not everyone sets their standards where I do – and different things bother different people, or are goals with different people. Also, all children are different. I have one who is special needs, one who is high needs, and my easy going guy who some days causes the most mess. With all that in mind:
At what age do you expect your children to have mastered eating using proper table manners?
My children do this from the beginning of their lives. I insist on nursing manners, and I insist on table manners. Playing with food signals that you are done and you get down. My table manners are one area where I’m much more relaxed, but when we all sit down for dinner, it’s polite and enjoyable, and even my toddlers do great at restaurants.
At what age do you expect your children to stop hitting or biting others?
Biting while teething is a common thing, and I have biters, but they very rarely bite out of aggression. Hitting is another thing that is common as an expression of frustration in a pre-verbal toddler, and using baby signs can decrease it, but some kids are just physical in everything. By 2 1/2 years old, these behaviors are hardly an issues. By 5 years old, it’s almost unheard of. If my oldest hits someone, it’s because he feels trapped – but he’s also my child with special needs and it’s an act of desperation. At 6 1/2 years old it rarely happens.