If your children are going to do something over a thousand times a year, shouldn’t they know how to do it correctly?
Yes, of course, they should!
Having good table manners builds confidence in young people and prepares them for their future both socially and professionally.
Teach your kids table manners now, so that table manners become their everyday good habits.
Then when your children are older and have important events over meals, they will be confident and ready.
They won’t be distracted by nerve-wracking doubts like:
“Which bread plate is mine?” 🤷♀️
“What should I do with my fork?” 🤷♂️
They will know because you prepared them!
When my kids were younger, I struggled to teach them table manners because I wanted to relax and enjoy our meal times. Nagging and pleading are just no fun!
Using a little creativity (and some patience), I taught my family table manners in a stress-free way and we even had some fun with it!
You know it’s important to teach your children good table manners but you may be wondering…
“What exactly should I teach them and how do I teach them without having to nag and plead?”
Below are some tips to help you teach table manners at home plus the five manners I recommend you begin with.
5 tried and true table manners teaching tips:
1- First, be sure to get your free copy of my Family Table Manners Checklist with helpful how-to tips. This checklist will help you teach your children table manners in an organized, fun, and stress-free way. It lists the table manners your children need to know and gives you advice on how to teach them.
Enter your email and I’ll send the checklist to your inbox:
2- Do your best to use good table manners yourself to set the right example. If you’d like to brush up on your own table manners, read a good resource book such as Emily Post’s Etiquette.
3- Make a list of the particular table manners that you feel are most important for your children to learn. Then choose one to concentrate on at each meal. Don’t try to cover too much at once.
4- When teaching your children, gentle reminders are best. Try not to overreact when you see your teen stuff half his steak in his mouth. Simply say, “Remember to take smaller bites” and grit your teeth silently ;).
5- Consistency is important. Require and use good table manners at every meal whether you’re at the kitchen table, at Subway for a quick sandwich, or in a nice restaurant for a celebration dinner.
6- Enroll your kids in manners-themed classes to reinforce what you’re teaching at home and to give your children an opportunity to practice their manners in a fun, socially safe setting. In my manners classes business, I’ve taught hundreds of young people table manners through workshops, junior cotillions, and after school classes.
I offer an online table manners class for families also. More details are here.
✔ The Top Five Basic Table Manners Your Family Needs to Know
This list is a starting point and will give your family a solid foundation to continue to build upon.
- The basics of what is where at the place setting: correct placement of the fork, knife, spoon, napkin, drink, and bread plate
- How to use the napkin: the do’s and don’ts including what to do with it when you leave the table momentarily and when your meal is finished
- How to use the knife & fork correctly: cutting food and eating correctly, the resting/finished position for utensils and appropriate bite size
- How to enjoy each others’ company at the table: making appropriate and positive conversation and using The Fab Four (also known as magic words)
- Basic dining courtesies: such as when to start eating, posture at the table, and excusing yourself from the table
Wishing you happy dining, Moms!
In my manners classes business, I’ve taught hundreds of young people table manners through workshops, junior cotillions, and after school classes. It’s become my favorite manners topic to teach!