Mom (that is me~ 3rd person mom, here) just had a mini-breakdown because I had to witness my kid’s open-mouth, full of food, interrupting another kid’s rant and then lean across the table to get the salt. Ummm…
Sound familiar? If you too, are sick of seeing half-eaten food lodged in an open mouth when you are trying to eat, please read on. More than anything else, it just grosses me out. I really don’t mind so much that it is the constant reminding. That is what I do. I repeat and repeat, hoping they will finally “get it.” But I know…It is hard for them to remember, all those things mom is telling them to do, all the time! They are kids. They get a pass on this one. Eventually it will all come together. Someday, another parent will say to you, after hosting your child for a meal, “Your daughter was SO polite! I wish mine had such good manners! She can eat over ANYtime!” Yes. This is the goal: That your kids are so polite, that other people want to feed them. Willingly. Sigh.
So how do we get there? By reminding, and also modeling. Manners aren’t just for kids. Parents sometimes forget…I know. We do. We can all use some reminding. Now, I am not talking about any kind of over the top manners here. I am going to list 10 basic manners, you and your kids should follow so that they aren’t embarrassed to go out to eat at a restaurant or a friend’s house. It’s adapted from the genius over at Beauty & Bedlam blog.
Here’s a printable list:
- Never comment or complain about the food that is served to you.
- Wait until everyone is seated and served a meal before starting to eat.
- Wait to see if the host wants to say a Thank You or prayer before the meal.
- Place your napkin in your lap before you start to eat.
- No matter what, take at least one bite of every single food on the plate.
- Eat with your mouth closed.
- Wait to finish chewing and swallowing before speaking.
- Never interrupt another person while they are talking.
- Say please and thank you, while asking others to pass. No reaching.
- Stay seated until excused and say thank you to the host at meal end.
See? It isn’t over the top- no salad fork or soup spoon etiquette here- just the basics. I hope you have a lovely dinner tonight together (if that ever happens!) with your family, and you can share some of this with them. Tell them I told you it was gross. I will still have your kids over to my house of course and I hope you will have mine…and feel free to nudge them in the right direction on these few little manners. It takes a village my friends!