Author Topic: Children and Table Manners  (Read 2714 times)

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yokozbornak

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Children and Table Manners
« on: January 13, 2013, 09:04:14 PM »
I have two little girls, and I would like to make sure they have good table manners.  I try to model good manners and correct them when I see bad manners, but I notice my oldest is developing some bad habits that I would like to break.  Any ideas for some creative ways to teach good table manners?  Right now, I feel like my constant correcting is just making things worse.

guihong

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 09:07:39 PM »
My kids loved the Bearstein Bear books, many of which dealt with manners and etiquette.  In fact, I think one dealt with table manners!



hyzenthlay

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 09:11:04 PM »
If it's smacking, or something else that seriously impacts the other diners I think constant correction is your only good option.

Other habits and manners, try to focus on one item at a time, get that sorted out, give some time, then work on the next.

violinp

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 09:20:07 PM »
Is there an etiquette class for children in your area? That might be helpful.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


RobinJ

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 09:22:55 PM »
I read this article recently and thought it was a good approach. It helped with my son.

http://www.trueaimeducation.com/2012/05/pass-manners-please_25.html?m=1

Iris

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 09:32:21 PM »
I struggled with this with DD2 - how to teach good manners without every meal turning into a nag fest. We tried a few things; age appropriate stories about manners, playing 'restaurant' occasionally at home, and as she got older simple blanket rules to correct her few remaining bad habits.

Now that she's into the more socially aware years she loves to dress up and go special places, so we rewarded a good, extended stint of improved manners with a trip to a restaurant. We also spoke about a little girl we saw out to dinner with her parents at the *very* nice restaurant that we went to for our wedding anniversary and she decided that that is her new ambition.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

doodlemor

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 11:43:46 PM »
Here is a link to the Mrs.  Piggle Wiggle books, by Betty McDonald.  I absolutely loved them as a child, and read them to my class as an adult.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Piggle-Wiggle

In Mrs.  Piggle Wiggle's Magic a very civilized pig named Lester teaches a boy named Christopher Brown how to improve his table manners in "The Bad Table Manners Cure."

Deetee

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 12:33:20 AM »
I have a set number of nags before banishing ( 2 minute time out). I find it less frustrating than constant reminding. I also like to pick a couple behaviours to focus on so I will pick "Sit at table until excused" and "ask nicely for all requests" and let non-egregious "playing with food" and "interupting conversations" and "singing to food before eating it" and "eating with cutlery" slide.  Then next time I pick two others.

I let her know what we are working on so it isn't this constant barrage of corrections. And if one of  the ones I didn't focus on was good, I praise it as well. It keeps it manageable for both of us. She really tries to make me happy, so that helps combat the squirimy experimental center of universeness that is a young child.

Though my daughter seems to use her fork less now at 4 than she did when she was two, so I can't comment entirely as to effectiveness. I just hate listening to myself repeat things.

NyaChan

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 03:15:27 AM »
Here is a link to the Mrs.  Piggle Wiggle books, by Betty McDonald.  I absolutely loved them as a child, and read them to my class as an adult.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Piggle-Wiggle

In Mrs.  Piggle Wiggle's Magic a very civilized pig named Lester teaches a boy named Christopher Brown how to improve his table manners in "The Bad Table Manners Cure."

LOVE Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle!!  Great stories, though I admit, the ones about picking up the mess in one's room did not stick with me  ;D

yokozbornak

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 08:58:48 AM »
These are all great ideas!  Thanks so much!

bopper

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 09:37:03 AM »
My kids loved the Bearstein Bear books, many of which dealt with manners and etiquette.  In fact, I think one dealt with table manners!

These are great for kid "issues".

Carotte

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 10:23:12 AM »
Well, if they're into princesses you could go with "let's learn to eat like princesses!" approach.

baritone108

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 12:11:01 PM »
 Both of my daughters, at about age 9, were made to eat in front of a mirror after certain habits hadn't been corrected despite years of teaching/correction/nagging.  They ate at the table with a mirror set up in front of them.  This was very effective in both cases, we only had to do it for about 3 days.

Betelnut

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 12:20:09 PM »
Perhaps being positive about the good manners they are exhibiting will help too.
Native Texan, Marylander currently

snappylt

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Re: Children and Table Manners
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 01:07:01 PM »
Don't know if this applies to your situation because our children were all boys, but here goes:

One of our boys went through a brief phase where he'd use table manners like a dog.  Throughout his life this son has been an expert at pushing my buttons, and, goodness, did it push one of my buttons when I looked up and saw him lapping up food from his plate like a dog!  Somehow my wife was oblivious to it, but at first I was thinking along the lines of "If he's behaving this way at home, he's going to behave this way elsewhere and people are going to think he's weird."

Well, after a few go-arounds where I imposed consequences for the behavior I finally started listening to my wife.  She said our son was doing it just to annoy me.  So, I made a few phone calls to adults who had eaten with my son away from our home.  They all complimented me on what nice table manners our son had.  (And, indeed, I noticed that our son always used good manners when we had dinner guests.) So then I decided to just stop getting upset, and when he was no longer getting me upset, over a few weeks time he stopped acting that way.

Just before the end, though, I do have to admit one instance of provocative behavior on my own part.  One night when it was just our own family at the table, when our son was finished eating and started licking his own plate, I didn't say a word... but when he looked up at me for a reaction, I picked up my own plate and gave it a single lick.  You'd have thought I committed a grave sin!  "Dad!  You can't do THAT at the table!"  I just winked at him and said if it was OK for him, maybe I should start eating like that, too.  He laughed and laughed - and I think only did it a time or two after that.

Anyway, it turned out to not be a long term problem, and he has grown up to be a nice guy with good manners.