Mind Your Manners! Table Manners 101
- Table Manners 101
- Parenting Solutions: Bad Manners
- Toddlers at the Table: Avoiding Power Struggles
- Teaching Children Manners
- Good Manners Don't Disappear in Middle School
- The Peaceful Family Table
If you’re like most parents, you spend more time dodging flying peas and mopping up spilled milk than worrying about napkins on laps and which fork goes where. In this day and age, it’s enough to get the entire family to the table at the same time, right?
Wrong. Dining etiquette isn’t about showing off or following an outdated set of arcane rules; it’s about making mealtime more pleasant for everybody.
If you don’t want your kids to act like barbarians, set the stage for a civilized meal. It’s perfectly okay to use paper napkins and forgo the candlelight, but why not teach your kids to set the table correctly while you're at it? Assuming you’re having a one-course meal, that means salad fork (if desired) and dinner fork on napkin at the left, plate in the middle, and knife with blade facing plate, plus spoon at the right. The water glass goes to the top right of the plate; the wine glass goes to the right of that.
Sharing, of course, is a good quality. But provide plenty of serving utensils; no one should ever dig into a communal bowl with their own spoon. Use a butter knife to place a pat of butter on each plate. Teach your kids to take small portions until everyone has been served, and remind them that they can always have seconds. And for goodness sake, don’t clutch your fork like a spear; put your index finger on top of the handle, your thumb to one side and your fingers to the other. Do the same to the knife handle, and cut away!
The rules of gracious eating are designed for health and comfort: put a napkin on your lap, chew with your mouth closed, don’t talk until you’ve swallowed, and take pauses between bites. Tailor your expectations to your child’s abilities; a preschooler may still eat with her hands, but she’s learning from your example.
Of course, the most important code of conduct involves how we treat each other. Show your children the respect you expect to receive: don’t interrupt someone mid-sentence, say “excuse me” before leaving the table, ask for the jam instead of reaching across someone else’s dinner plate, and express sincere interest in others. Who knows? Your kids may be so polite they’ll clear the table afterwards… but don’t count on it.
Next Article: Fear of the Flu Shot?
Today on Education.com
WORKBOOKSMay Workbooks are Here!
WE'VE GOT A GREAT ROUND-UP OF ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR LONG WEEKENDS, STAYCATIONS, VACATIONS ... OR JUST SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN!Get Outside! 10 Playful Activities
Add your own comment
Wondering what others found interesting? Check out our most popular articles.
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- First Grade Sight Words List
Take a look at what other users are searching for most.