Teaching Your Kids Table Manners

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As we slowly begin to head back out into restaurants and having family get togethers, now might be a good time to give your kids a little “manners makeover” with these age-appropriate tips from Scholastic.com.

Ages 3 to 5
What to Teach:

  1. To sit at the table—with no wiggling and wandering around—for 15 to 30 minutes.
  2. To wait until everyone is seated to start eating.
  3. How to use (and where to place) a napkin.
  4. How to chew with your mouth closed.
  5. The polite way to ask for food (i.e. “Please pass the potatoes”).
  6. Not to make comments like “Yuck!” Preschoolers often don’t understand the concept of hurt feelings — so just tell your child it’s not nice to say bad things about the food. Have her say: “I don’t really care for this.”

Ages 6 to 7
What to Teach:

  1. How to use a knife.
  2. Why it’s not appropriate to make negative comments about the food. Explain how saying “Eeeeww!” can hurt the cook’s feelings, says Jones.
  3. How to dispose of food you don’t like. “If your kid used his fork to take a bite of asparagus, the asparagus goes quietly back to the plate on the fork.” If the food’s been chewed, teach your child to discreetly spit it into his napkin.
  4. To thank the person who prepared the meal.

Ages 8 to 10
What to Teach:

  1. How to be a good host—offer guests something to eat or drink and never eat something before you serve your friend.
  2. Cell phones and video games do not come to the table.
  3. How to serve and pass food at the table.

What are some tips you have for taming the wild when at the dinner table?

Click here to read the entire article from Scholastic.com.

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