No meal is complete without saying at least ten times, "Please, don't put your elbows on the table", or "Please swallow your food before talking".
My husband and his brothers go out to a nice restaurant every year around this time, so Joel told my son that if he shows big improvements in his table manners this year, he can go out with the guys next year.
But, to be honest, I was tired of nagging. So I told each of the younger children that I would give them ten pennies at the beginning of each meal. They could keep the pennies if they were mannerly, but they would need to give me a penny every time they violated a manner.
It's a great incentive for them! But after each meal they have to trade their pennies for nickels or dimes...it just seems like more money, I guess.
What Every Kid Should Know!
- Come to the table with clean hands and face.
- Put your napkin on your lap.
- Start eating when everyone else does – or when given the OK to start.
- Stay seated and sit up straight.
- Keep elbows (and other body parts!) off the table while eating.
- Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk until you’ve swallowed.
- Don’t make bad comments about the food.
- Say “Please pass the ---” instead of reaching.
- Chat with everyone at the table.
- Don’t make rude noises like burping or slurping.
- Ask to be excused when finished.
- Thank your host or whoever prepared the meal.
- Offer to help clear the table.