Why are table manners so important?
Good table manners set the foundation for other important manners like respect for others, self-confidence, and being considerate. Manners learning starts at the family table! As our children grow and leave the nest, they need to be ready for important events that take place while dining like celebrations, meetings, interviews, dates, and business networking. No one is born knowing good manners, so it’s up to us parents to teach them to our children.
Not long ago I was a busy mom like you and I knew my kids needed to learn good table manners.
My nagging and pleading at the table didn’t work and it was certainly no fun for any of us!
So, I found a better way. I changed my thinking and I decided we were going to make learning table manners an adventure rather than something we all dreaded. I made a plan and became more intentional about our family meals. Teaching my family good manners during our meals became fun and stress-free!
Here’s what worked for my family and it just might work for yours too!
Set a good example. First, I brushed up on my own table manners. There are many good books on the subject. My favorite resource is the 19th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.
Make a list of the table manners that you want your family to know and use. Then break down the list into mini-lessons. I found that working on one or two table manners skills a week was best. Master one at a time and check them off the list as you learn.
Keep table manners learning fun and light-hearted. Your family can enjoy learning together! Don’t nag and fuss. Positive reminders work best.
Make table manners your everyday good habits. They aren’t just for special occasions. Your goal is to make good table manners part of your children’s habits, so this means using manners at every meal and in every setting. Whether it’s breakfast at home, a quick lunch at Subway, or a special dinner at a restaurant- good manners matter.
Set a family goal to complete your list of table manners learning by a certain date. I set a goal to complete our table manners learning within two months. Let your family know how you’ll celebrate finishing the list, so you can all look forward to it. We celebrated with dinner out at our favorite “splurge-worthy” restaurant.
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