Good manners are skills that help your kid succeed in multiple areas of their life; in class, with friends, with future employers, etc. These good manners can start in your own home, and more specifically at the dinner table. If you teach your children how to behave properly at a young age, it’ll be sure to carry on with them throughout their lives. Here are some tips for teaching kids table manners:
Rules to Teach
1. Sit at the Table
Teaching your child to actually sit at the table, without getting up, squirming, or standing on their chair, is the first place to start. Between 15 and 30 minutes is a good starting point, but as they get older they’ll settle down a bit and be able to sit still for longer dinners.
2. Chewing with Closed Mouth
Giving your child an example of how rude it can be to chew with food in your mouth is a good place to start. Eat some food and open your mouth wide to show them how gross it can look. Explain this is impolite and show them how to properly chew their food at the table.
3. Using a Napkin
You can start by showing them how to properly place a napkin in their lap to avoid any stain if they drop food by accident – which is very likely with children! Make sure to explain that we use napkins to wipe our mouths or anything else that may become dirty during dinner. Tell them how it will keep their sleeves and shirt clean as well.
4. Asking Nicely
Asking politely for more food and drink is another aspect of teaching good table manners to your children. Rather than “I want more chicken”, you should teach your kid to phrase it, “Can you please pass the chicken?” Since this is something the entire table will likely hear, guests will certainly be pleased to see such good manners in your child.
5. Using Utensils Properly
If your child is old enough to use their own utensils, the next step is teaching how to properly hold and use them. First, teach the basics like how to properly hold a fork or spoon when attempting to eat their food. Then, they can graduate to cutting their own food if they’re allowed to use a knife. Since the proper cutting technique requires developed motor skills, you may need to wait until they’re a little older.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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