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How to Teach Children Good Table Manners

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How to Teach Children Good Table Manners
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It is said that good manners begin at home. Especially when it comes to table manners, the onus is mainly on parents to teach kids the dos and don’ts at the dining table. While acquainting kids with table etiquette, parents cannot adopt one single approach. Instead, their approach should vary according to kids’ ages.

Here are a few approaches that parents can adopt.

Age group: 3–5

If your kids are in this age bracket, use the following tips to teach them the basics of dining etiquette.

  • Ask your kids to sit properly at the dining table. Do not allow them to wiggle
  • Serve the meal and ask them not to start eating unless everyone does so
  • Teach your kids how to use napkins and spoons and how to chew food. Make sure that your kids do not make any sound while chewing
  • Let your kids know the appropriate way to ask for food instead of allowing them to scream for their favorite dishes

Age group: 6–7

At this stage, you should fine-tune what your kids have learnt about table manners.

  • Tell your kids how to cut food using knife and how to use forks and spoons
  • Many kids tend to pass negative comments on dishes that they do not like. Their comments can hurt the cook. So, ask them to refrain from this practice
  • At this stage, your kids should know how to dispose of leftovers, chewed food and bones. Tell your kids to keep bones on a bone plate, keep chewed foods into their napkins, and dispose of leftovers in a separate plate
  • Once your kids finished their meals, ask them to remain seated unless others are done
  • Make sure your kids do not forget to thank the cook before leaving table
  • Last but not the least, you should teach them what to say and what not to say at dining table

Age group: 8–10

By now, your kids have picked up the basics of dining etiquette. It is time to teach them how to behave at the dining table as a host or a guest.

  • Do let your kids know that hosts should first serve meals to guests before starting eating
  • Likewise, they should be informed about the appropriate behaviors of a guest at dining table
  • If your kids are fond of playing various games on mobiles, ask them not to do this while eating food. Explain them that mealtime is a social gathering and such practices are against norms
  • Finally, teach your kids how to hold serving spoons while taking food from serving bowls. Your kids should also learn how to pass serving bowls.

Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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