Table manners tell us a lot about how kids are raised. Nothing speaks more of an individual than proper table manners. Cultural differences may serve as minor excuses for a little variation or two, nevertheless, there are general rules for table manners in children that we need to teach and remind them of (and I guess that’s true for adults as well):
Washing hands before and after eating. Proper hygiene is important in children because most of them come from playing and touching dirty objects. It reminds them that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Chewing, talking and swallowing are three movements that cannot be done simultaneously. Even when it CAN, this is not a “Got Talent” show! Spit flies, words are not understandable and the child can choke on his food.
Table manners include manners on how to use those utensils and other paraphernalia properly. Use the right utensils when eating. If there are chopsticks in a restaurant and the child does not know how to use one, ask the server for spoon and fork. The restaurant IS NOT the appropriate place to teach and learn how to use chopsticks. It just makes a mess all over the table and believe me when I say that the sushi flies!
Sound effects are not part of eating. No slurping of food please. Use the napkin (which you must always ask for) and wipe your mouth for any dribble of food.
And finally, don’t forget to say thank you and please. Please pass the salt. Please reach me the fork. Thank you for a lovely meal. Thank you for cooking for us. Please, may I have seconds? Please and thank you are words that make mealtime an appreciative one.