Good table manners for children are important skills that should be developed when they are young.
If you adopt the 'do as I say and not as I do' approach it simply won't work.
I say mostly because some children when they become teenagers think that when they are away from the constraints and watchful eye of parents it is the ideal time to be as bad mannered and anti-social as possible. When ever you receive a good report regarding your child's wonderful table manners. Say, "I am so proud of you, Johnny's mum told me how 'grown up' you behaved at the dinner table. " Table manners for children should just be a normal way of life. Be specific about what impressed you (so that they can repeat the performance).
I believe you even served yourself without messing, you were very polite and well mannered, I was pleased to hear you waited until you were offered the food and didn't just grab first like you do here, then you actually waited for everybody to start eating before you started, you even asked to be excused from the table when you finished eating. The fact that your child showed good manners and table etiquette while a guest in someone's home is something to be proud of.
A time to share the day's events and discuss a variety of topics.
It was a time to relax, I really looked forward to gathering around the dinner table as a family unit.
Good table manners and etiquette were just a normal part of our every day meal.
It was quite normal to say things like, 'keep your elbows down, you look as if you are about to take off', 'ask your sister to pass the salt, don't stretch in front of her'.
Not only will you all suffer dreadful indigestion, but it will turn dinner time into a time of dread and distress for everyone.
We know the 'old school of thinking' dictated that 'children should be seen and not heard' at the dinner table. Personally, I used dinner time as quality time with my family.
By doing this the children learned that table manners and etiquette differed from country to country and different cultures had their own set of etiquette rules. Place serviette on lap when seated, it is good etiquette and useful too 5.
You don't have to throw the 'Table Manners for Children' rule book at the children every time you sit down to a meal. Wait for everybody to be seated before starting to eat 6.
We have provided a list of 26 useful tips on Good Table Manners for Children further down this page. Your child must see you and the rest of the family setting the etiquette and good manners standards, be it at the dinner table, greeting people or answering the phone, in fact, with anything and everything you do.