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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
6. 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!
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!
At what age should I teach my child table manners?
Ideally, you should start teaching your child table manners as soon as they begin to sit up on their own. This will help them develop good habits as early as possible.
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:
- Use your utensils correctly.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full.
- Keep your elbows off the table.
What is the best way to teach my child good table manners?
The best way to teach your child good table manners is to set a good example, be positive and calm, explain to child why certain behaviors are considered polite, also make mealtime enjoyable and keep fun!
In conclusion, teaching children good table manners is not only about providing them with proper etiquette at mealtime, but it’s also an opportunity to teach them important social skills!
Start teaching at home, create a pleasant atmosphere, set a good example, make the teaching process fun and comfortable, and you will help your child develop lifelong habits of good table manners!