When I first began my Mannerly Monday series several months ago, I discussed some basic mealtime manners we were working on with our girls. While they seem to remember those things more than not, it is definitely still a work in progress.
- At the beginning of the meal, place your napkin in your lap. Keep the hand that you’re not using in your lap as well, unless the type of food you’re eating requires two hands. Even then, be sure to keep your elbows off the table.
- Put on your plate only the amount of food you know you can eat. As the old saying goes, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Refrain from taking the biggest or best serving for yourself.
- Wait for everyone else at the table to be served before starting to eat. Make sure you also wait until the host or hostess is seated before beginning your meal.
- Never reach across someone else’s plate to get something. Politely ask for it to be passed to you.
- When you are finished eating, lay your knife and fork across your plate. Place your napkin on the table beside your plate. At this point, you may ask to be excused. However, if you have guests and other children are present, wait until they are done eating to ask permission to leave the table. Clear up your own place at the table when you are excused.
How are your children doing with table manners? Do you have an interesting way to teach or reinforce these ideas? Please let us know in the comments section.