It will be alright when your two-year-old kid gets more food on face than into the mouth, finger-licking, or spreads food out of the plate, instead of eating.
But, what if it continues in their later stages? It creates a kind of indecency and bad manners [Child discipline].
Of course, children don’t get table manners naturally.
However, teaching basic table manners as how to sit properly, make use of a napkin, how to use the spoon or fork and many more at the right age can make your child learn better social etiquettes and well appreciated.
Basic Table Manners For Kids
- Teach your kid to greet everyone and invite to join the table, when eating all together. Ask him to sit erectly without hunching over the plate. Make your kid position himself properly by keeping his wrists on the table or hands on his laps. Keep his legs close to the chair. Tell not to stretch them out, making inconvenience to others.
- Teach him to behave properly at the table. Avoid coarse behaviors such as playing games, conversing with mouth full, nose blowing, tooth picking, reading/drawing at the table. Alternatively, ask him to take an excuse before leaving the table to go to restroom.
- Take the napkin and position it properly on your kid’s laps immediately after being seated. Ask him to make use of the napkin to gently wipe the hands. Also, ask to dab his mouth prior to drinking water from the glass. Make your child to remember that the napkin should be placed to the left of the plate during a restroom break and neatly to the right of the plate at the end of the meal.
- “Outside in” is the basic rule for using utensils. Always use the outer most utensils first and follow the order. Show how to use them to your kids. Once you use the utensil, don’t replace it on the table. Instead, place it on the plate. When completed the meal, place the knife and the fork parallel to each other (side by side) on the plate keeping their handles at an angle of 120 degrees, the soup spoons are to be placed on the service plate of the soup bowl, and teaspoons on the saucer. Your child also follows the same way.
- For buttering the bread, keep the bread and butter on the bread plate only. Never eat the whole bread all at once. Break off the bread to a bite-size piece prior to buttering. If you follow this method, your kid also follows the same method.
- Ask your kid to stay for a while until all the members are served before eating. If you and your child are guests, tell your child to wait for the host to start eating.
- Teach your child to eat slowly, chew properly with closed mouth, take only small bites, do not try to overfill the mouth with food and give few seconds of gap between each bite.
- If your kid is trying to remove items (bone or gristle) from the mouth, ask him to remove it in the same it entered into the mouth: fork or fingers. When removed, ask to place it directly on the plate.
- Tell your kid not to try to reach over other’s plate for something he wants. Ask him to request the item to be passed or served to him. Tell him to always say “thank you” whenever something is served and say “no-thanks” when he don’t want the item to be served for him.
By learning the table manners, it is very sure that your kids enjoy the meal with everyone and definitely get appreciated.