Learning table manners
A mom shares how her daughter learned table manners.
My daughter’s learning experience regarding table manners from day one was as follow:
She was never allowed to walk and eat/ drink, even if I just sat her down in the middle of a room, rule one was soon learned and understood especially when I left her the one day to do what she wanted and she spilled her bowl of chips on the ground. Yip the chips was dirty and thrown away and not replaced, juice split was learned by giving her a cloth to clean up herself and not replaced.
At the table we started by having to sit still if she started to fiddle or play with her food, or wanted a toy, her plate was removed, yes she made a fuss, but I gave her a choice, sit still and eat or your food will be given to you later when you can behave.
In the beginning she could eat with a spoon or with her hands, and now (age 5) hands are only for sandwiches. We started a sticker chart after her birthday were she has to compile by all the table rules, no talking with food in the mouth, eating with spoon, fork, and learning to cut with a knife, no stretching for something, dancing, singing, etc,etc. And after every meal, a sticker was rewarded. And 30 stickers earned her a treat like a Wimpy or Mac Donald’s, etc take away.
Yes, there are still evenings that there are no stickers and after the meal I’ll point out the mistakes so that she learns out of her own wrong doings what’s wrong and right. And this helps that there is no unpleased fighting at the dinner table and that we have a pleasant meal and family time. Also by setting an example helps a lot. If I need to get up, I also ask to be excused (they learn more from us than we think) so we have to be the BIG role model in their life at the table as well.
Some of the methods seemed harsh in the beginning, but kids learn quickly and they want boundaries set out for them.
I have no angel, a real tomboy most of the times, but my daughter and myself are very close and we love one another to bits! And I won’t change any thing on my daughter. Isabel