Monday, 19 September 2011

Good Manners on Monday # 6 Table Manners

table manners rhyme sourced here
This week at Nurture the Little People headquarters we've been tackling the issue of table manners and dining etiquette. We are not overly strict in our house when it comes to dining. I don't mind if we eat lunch in the living area, but you have to be sitting down and using a plate. I do insist that we all sit at the table together for dinner and that the tv or radio is off.

As the children get older, I have found it more important to enforce dining etiquette like;
  • setting the table with both a knife and fork, 
  • waiting until everyone is sat before starting your meal, 
  • taking your time to eat and chew, 
  • not talking with your mouth full of food, 
  • saying excuse me or pardon me where necessary 
  • and the BIG one at the moment is staying at the table until everyone has finished, even if you are not going to eat your dinner. 
This has been particularly challenging of late with our nearly four year old. He is going through one of those phases where he is quick to decide that he doesn't like his dinner, pushing his plate away in disgust and promptly leaving the table. I know he will grow out of it, just as his older brother did, but gee it does urk me. 

Sometimes we insist he rejoins the table until we are all finished. And often he will dig in his heels and refuse. Other times we will just let it go and continue enjoying our meal together as a three, whilst the fourth member of the family plays at our feet, occasionally sneaking a carrot or pea off his plate.

So, what do you do? How do you enforce table manners and staying at the table in your family? 

Be Happy,


My Mummy Daze said...

I like your table manners. They are very similar to our own. We're not always able to eat at the same time but when we can all eat together as a family it's following these same ettiquetes. I think it's an important social skill to teach our kids. Hubby was not taught table manners and as a result found it very humiliating growing up when he realised he didn't know how to behave as a guest at someone's dinner table.

InkPaperPen said...

It is pretty early days for table manners in our house (although it should never too early!). One of my biggest problems has been that it is normally just myself, the 3 yr old and the 1 yr old dining together at dinner time. To be honest, it can be a bit of a joke! They are much much better when their Dad is home for dinner and hopefully with our big move this will be a more regular thing! MM comes from a family who are very big on dining manners and it makes it a very nice eating experience. We always had to ask to be excused from the table and also had to wait for everyone to be seated (and everyone to be finished). Having a younger brother who could take over 45 mins to polish off a few carrots made this torturous for a quick eater like myself. But it is about setting the groundwork isn't it? And it gives the meal a bit of ritual and a bit of respect which is always nice.