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Setting the rules in your house is a parent's responsibility. Teaching your child good table manners starts from a very young age and builds as they mature and become capable of more detail. Consider these "rules for the kitchen table" to build your child's table manners.
1. Come to the table promptly when you are called. Food tastes better when it is hot.
2. Sit at the table with the four legs of the chair flat on the floor. Sit straight, with your feet in front of you
3. Sit quietly with your hands in your lap until you are served. Or if you serve yourself: Wait for the food to be passed to you. As soon as the food is passed to you, take some and pass it on. Don't leave a serving dish beside your plate. Wait until all of the food has been offered before you begin to eat.
4. Do not talk with your mouth full.
5. Do not make biological noises or blow your nose at the table.
6. Keep your elbows off the table.
7. Try not to wave silverware around while you're eating.
8. Do not use your finger to push food onto your utensil.
9. Do not lick your fingers or wipe your hands on the tablecloth. Make use of your napkin so you don't offend others with half-chewed food oozing out the corners of your mouth and down your chin.
10. Don't stuff your mouth with food.
11. Keep the conversation pleasant. Do not raise your voice.
12. After the meal is over, clear your plate and put it in the sink. (or whatever procedures your parents set up for you.)
13. Never pick up a dish and hold it in your hand while you eat.
14. Never eat and run. Remain at the table until you are excused.
15. Offer to help with the dishes.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|