Don’t be that parent that is afraid to send your child on a playdate!
Table manners are the rules that are used while eating and interacting at the table. Different cultures often have different rules but some of the basics are universal. Instilling manners in children at an early age gives them tools to become well-mannered and comfortable in any social setting. Manners are most often learned at home, the more time children spend at the table interacting with family and learning how their manners affect others, the better!
Children learn best by watching others. Teaching your children table manners is important but keep in mind that they often mimic their parents, this is where I had to be so conscious of keeping my elbows off of the table! Quite often, the most basic manners become a habit so it’s important to teach these basics to children early on.
A few examples of table manners:
- Wait until everyone is served until eating
- Place your napkin on your lap before you being
- Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk while eating
- Use your utensils
- Remember to say “Please” and “Thank You”
- Help clear the table
How to properly set a table
I know the thought of setting a table properly can be daunting for many. How many different types of spoons are there exactly?!
Let’s cover the basics of a place setting so that children can help with this chore at dinnertime! The dinner plate goes directly in front of the chair, where the guest will be sitting. To the left of that is the fork. To the right of the plate is the knife and then the spoon. The knife should be placed with the sharp edge facing the plate. Finally, above the knife goes the water glass. Often the napkin is placed underneath the fork.
Do you still need a little more guidance? I have a printable included in my Mealtime Table Etiquette course, it’s a fantastic guide to help kids learn the proper place settings!
Clearing the table at the end of dinner
It’s not all over after dinner, clearing the table is just as important. You should always wait until all of the guests at the table have finished eating before you start clearing. Being by taking the plates one dish at a time. Always make sure you are clearing from the guests' right side. After this remove silverware, napkins, and glassware.
Table manners are an important part of children’s learning. Set the expectations from early on that table manners are a priority and need to be taken seriously. These habits are impressive and will serve children for many years.
Want to learn more about table etiquette made easy for your children? Be sure to stop by here and sign up for my mini-course where we provide you with a placemat to make setting the table easier for your child, tutorials on how a toddler can even make a PB&J, and so much more.