Whether you are dining at home with your kids, eating out, or having a meal with guests, teaching good table manners to your children is a vital aspect of every meal.
Laying the foundation of proper table manners can be initiated when your little one begins speaking and using utensils. And as it is with parenting, the good habits will take some time to catch on. But what is most important? Keeping it free of pressure and gently modeling the behaviors you desire them to adopt. Check out six important table manners you should teach your kids early on in life.
Wash your hands and face before every meal
Kids often enjoy playing in the dirt, and they touch almost everything that seems interesting. Teach your little bundle of joy to clean their hands and face before every meal to eliminate the chances of carrying germs, and to avoid looking grubby to fellow diners at the table.
Teach them to wait for everyone
Teach your kid to patiently wait for everyone at the table to take a seat and get served before they can begin eating.
Ask them to chew their food with their mouth closed
The two cardinal rules of ideal table manners involve chewing the food with your mouth shut and not speaking while you still have food in your mouth. Gently prompt your kid to follow this rule if they forget.
Do not stuff your mouth with food
Teach your little one to take gentle and small bites and never gobble up their food. You may ask them to inculcate this habit by teaching them to put their spoon or fork down between bites. They may also rest their hands on their lap while chewing to avoid stuffing.
Ask them not to play with the food
Children often play with food, and it is especially common when they are served food they dislike. Forbid your child from fiddling with their food. Putting onion rings around their eyes and slurping spaghetti is not funny, and you should discourage this habit.
Politely ask others to pass the food
Children are restless. If they want something, they will unhesitatingly and instinctively reach out for it, from across the table. Teach them to politely ask for the bowl to be passed, while they remain seated.
Teaching good table manners to kids does not only involve teaching them the correct way of holding the fork and knife. You have to teach them the significance of showing courtesy and respect to fellow diners.