Anyone who knows me knows that, while they have their moments, my kids are well behaved, polite, mannered people. But when it comes to the dinner table, I cannot seem to get it into their little heads. They turn into these rude little creatures and its embrarassing! Earlier this week I completely lost it. One child was chomping away loudly, mouth wide open, using her hands instead of utensils. Another kept getting up from the table to “do something”. The third had his face almost completely buried in his salad bowl. I told them that we expect more and if they do not stop acting like cave people, they will be enrolled in manners class instead of all their fun summer activities.
In order to help their cause, I’ve come up with a list of the 10 basic things that we expect from them at anyone’s table.
1. Put your napkin in your lap
2. No phones or other electronic devices allowed at the table, no answering them if they ring during a meal, and TV stays off.
3. No eating until everyone is seated
4. Always use your utensils
5. Wait to talk until you are done chewing
6. Chew with your mouth shut
7. Keep your head up and out of your bowl/plate. You’re not an animal.
8. Ask to be excused before getting up
9. Always say thank you to the cook/host
10. Always clean up after yourself
I don’t necessarily want to reward something that we expect, but I want to give them some incentive to work hard to make these 10 things habit. So in an effort to keep rewards programs simple, If they display all 10 behaviors at a meal, they have a new category on Chore Monster that they can check off and get points for.
Wish us luck!
Are there things you do to encourage good etiquette and manners?
(download manners here)