How To Teach Table Manners To Kids. 14 Best Useful Tips.

Having dinner or lunch together doesn’t mean just filling the bellies, instead, it’s all about having good interactions and conversations with each other. The same you have to teach your kids

Good table manners are an important tool of social behavior and teaching children proper manners is a great way to help them become more confident and successful in life. It can also be a lot of fun! The key is finding an approach that works for both you and your child. 

And I believe being on the table and teaching your kids such stuff is the best way you can accomplish it. Let them know how to use arbitrary rules, how to use utensils, how to welcome hosts, and how to please and say thanks.

All just you need is simplicity, fun, and a proper roadmap that I’ve covered in this step-by-step guide on how to teach table manners to kids.

How To Teach Table Manners To Kids. 14 Best Useful Tips.

Why is it important?

Although you’re looking for the answer to how to teach table manners to kids, I believe it’s important for you to realize the need to make this happen intentionally.

Manners are a set of rules that help us understand how to treat others. They’re an important part of building healthy relationships with friends, family members, and anyone else we interact with.

But I believe the most important benefit of developing good table manners is that: it’s a confidence booster for your child.

The good news is: Kids are quick learners and can learn by just watching around the surroundings.

Table Rules (at a glance) That Are Important For Kids

Learn to set the table – Setting tables is a basic and great house chore that a kid can start from an early age.

Wait for others – Starting early and alone is the most common unmannered thing that kids mostly do. It’s important to teach them to start together.

Teach manner of eating food – Remind your child not to take while chewing the food and also not put too much in the mouth (take small bites). Because these eating mistakes kids make a lot.

Say words kindly – Although this is hard to get this fit, it can be enforced with consistent practice from both sides. Encourage your children to be polite and make use of words like “please and, thank you”.

Offer to Help – Although this tip is limited to boys, girls should help in the preparation and serving of meals.

Be a good mealtime conversationalist – As always, good communication skills matter when having mealtime together. Teach your kid to perfectly interact and participate in the conversation.

P.S: Teach them to follow good conversation rules and avoid those bad ones like interrupting conversations (it’s common).

Give Compliment – After having a good mealtime, teach to give at least one compliment to the host/chef of the dinner. For example, “Nice to be with you all”, “it was an amazing lunch”, “it was delicious and spicy”, or something kind like that.

Tips on how to teach table manners to kids

Learning good table manners can be a lot of fun for kids. They’ll learn how to have good conversations with others, and enjoy mealtimes more as they grow up. Plus, teaching table manners is a great way to spend quality time together.

But, If your child is experiencing difficulty with table manners, you’re not alone. The vast majority of parents report teaching their kids proper table manners as being somewhat or very difficult.

Well, don’t worry! I have the 6 tips that will help you easily get on the right track.

1. Start at home

The best place to begin teaching your child table manners is right at home. If you’ve been having trouble with your child’s behavior, their bad habits may already be ingrained. Approaching the problem from a new angle like this will help keep things positive and fun!

Make it a daily habit to eat meals together as a family and make note of how your child behaves. Kids often learn from watching the actions of others, so it’s a great idea to have everyone in your household follow proper etiquette rules.

When it comes to teaching table manners to kids, repetition is key! It’s important to reinforce good behaviors with your child on a daily basis so they start practicing right away. There are many ways that you can practice this at home.

One great idea: Have dinner themes — for example, Italian night or Mexican night Have mealtimes with friends and family members Involve your child in the meal preparation, and allow them to “try out” their new skills.

2. Make eating a positive experience

It may seem obvious, but being positive when teaching table manners is super important! And this is what my second tip on “how to teach table manners to kids” is all about.

Remember that children love to imitate their parents and will be eager to participate in what they see you doing.

Make eating a positive experience

Showing your child positive behaviors will encourage them to follow suit, so complimenting their efforts and rewarding good behavior is a must! Just make sure that the rewards are age-appropriate or small toys work great for young kids, while teens may enjoy time with friends as a reward.

3. Create a positive environment

Creating a positive environment is important! You may feel embarrassed or annoyed when your child shows poor table manners, but this will just make matters worse. If you’re calm, curious, and reassuring, your child will be encouraged to talk about what’s going on.

It’s a good idea to approach the situation from a caring and understanding stance since kids are often doing the best they can when they make mistakes! Even if you do have to set some limits, try not to get angry or yell. This will only make your child want to rebel and keep testing you.

Recommended: How to stop getting frustrated with your children?

4. Set a good example

Children learn best by observing and imitating their parents or caregivers. Display good table manners yourself, such as using utensils properly, chewing with your mouth closed, and sitting up straight. Be a positive role model for your child to emulate.

setting an example for good table manners in kids

Good role modeling is the best way to teach your child proper table manners! If you want them to wait for everyone to receive their meals, set this example first on yourself, similarly to other table manners like saying thank you and etc.

Think about how you might react in a situation involving different rules of etiquette, and be sure to explain things to your child the same way you would expect them to explain them to you. If you’re positive and calm, your child will be more likely to feel comfortable talking about what happened.

5. Start early

Introduce table manners from a young age. As soon as your child can sit up and eat solid foods, begin teaching them basic manners like using utensils, not playing with food, and staying seated during meals.

6. Make it a routine

Establish regular mealtime routines and stick to them. Consistency helps children understand expectations and reinforces good habits. Encourage the whole family to come together for meals whenever possible.

7. Explain and educate

Take the time to explain the importance of table manners to your child. Help them understand that good manners show respect for others, create a pleasant dining experience, and are an essential part of social interactions.

Teach your child fundamental etiquette rules, such as using “please” and “thank you,” waiting for others to finish speaking before talking, and keeping elbows off the table. Explain the reasons behind these rules and their significance.

8. Use positive reinforcement

Praise your child’s efforts when they display good table manners. Offer verbal encouragement, compliments, or small rewards to reinforce their behavior. Positive reinforcement motivates children to continue practicing good manners.

9. Engage in conversation

Encourage your child to participate in mealtime conversations. Teach them how to listen attentively, take turns speaking, and show interest in others’ stories. Engaging in meaningful conversations enhances their social skills.

10. Practice patience

Teach your child to wait their turn and be patient during mealtime. Remind them not to interrupt others while they’re speaking and to avoid rushing through their meal. Patience and consideration for others are vital aspects of table manners.

11. Teach proper use of utensils

Show your child how to use utensils correctly, including holding them properly, cutting food with a knife, and using a napkin. Practice these skills together during meals and provide gentle guidance when needed.

12. Be patient and consistent

Teaching table manners is a gradual process that requires patience and consistency. Correct your child’s behavior gently and remind them of the expected manners without being overly critical or harsh. With time and practice, they will develop good habits.

13. Make it interactive

Incorporate interactive activities to make learning table manners fun and engaging for your child. Use role-playing scenarios or create a “manners challenge” game where they can earn points or rewards for demonstrating proper manners. By making it interactive, you can capture your child’s interest and make the learning process more enjoyable.

14. Keep it fun!

In the end, the main point of teaching table manners is to help your child grow into a well-rounded person who knows how to behave in different situations. Keeping things light and enjoying mealtime together is a great way to make the learning process fun and easy for both of you!

Read Also: How to get kids to eat healthy fruits and veggies

Remember, teaching table manners should be a positive and enjoyable experience. Encourage your child’s progress, celebrate their successes, and create a pleasant atmosphere during mealtime.

Kick it up a notch!

Dinner time can be a lot more enjoyable for everyone if you all know how to properly use utensils like forks and knives when to use which one etc. While it may seem very complicated in the beginning, when you put your mind to it, it’s not that difficult to teach manners at the table.  

When teaching table manners to kids, keep it fun and easy. Make it a point to say, “good job” when your child observes good behavior or exhibits good manners. This will encourage him/her to continue doing so.

Also, keep in mind that setting a good example for your kids during dinner is the best way if you’re really curious about how to teach table manners to kids. Because definitely, If you’re too busy on your phone or laptop while eating, then your child will pick up on that behavior and he/she may even start doing the same thing after some time. So make sure to spend quality time with your child during dinner and enjoy eating together!


What age should you teach table manners?

Ideally, you should start teaching table manners to kids as soon as they’re able to sit up on their own. This will help them develop good habits early on and make mealtime a more pleasant experience for everyone. As with most things, repetition is key when it comes to teaching table manners, so be sure to reinforce good behaviors regularly. By setting a positive example and keeping things fun, your child will be more likely to learn the proper way to behave at the dinner table.

What are the 3 most important table manners?

Manners at the dinner table are important for a variety of reasons. They show that you’re respectful of others, and they help to keep the conversation flowing. In addition, good table manners can prevent you from embarrassing yourself or others. Here are three of the most important manners to remember:

  1. Use your utensils correctly
  2. Don’t talk with your mouth full
  3. Keep your elbows off the table

How do you introduce table manners?

The best way to introduce table manners is by setting a good example for your child. Be positive, calm, and respectful when you’re eating together, and explain why certain behaviors are considered polite. Make sure to reinforce good manners regularly, and keep mealtime enjoyable by making it fun!


Teaching table manners to kids is more than just a way to ensure proper etiquette during meals. It is an opportunity to instill important social skills and foster positive interactions within the family. By starting at home, creating a positive environment, setting a good example, and making the learning process fun, you can help your child develop lifelong habits of good table manners. Remember that repetition and reinforcement are key to successful learning, so continue to practice and praise their efforts. With consistent guidance and patience, your child will become confident and adept at navigating social situations with grace and respect.

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