Table Manners for Children

Most of our fond memories are centered around family rituals. Why not create fond memories for your children centered around the family meal? If you are one of those moms who likes to multi-task, then this post is for you.

While creating family memories around your kitchen table, why not cover some basic table manners at the same time? The kitchen table is a great time to not only discuss manners, it’s also a great time to learn family values and conversation skills.

Here are five tips for teaching table manners to children:

1. Plan to involve your children: Get them involved in every step. Let them plan the meal, shop for it and prepare it. Do they know how to set the table?

2. Teach them to stay seated during the entire meal. Turn off the television and computers, NO PHONES! Everyone should be fully present during the meal.

3. The Basics: Elbows off the table, place the napkin on their lap as soon as they sit, hold their fork like a pencil (if eating American Style) and chew with their mouth closed.

4. Please and Thank You during meal time: These words are magical in our daily life but can be reinforced at meal time. “Please pass the salt”, or “thank you for passing the bread”. Always thank the cook after the meal.

5. Keep the conversation interesting and include them. Encourage them to ask questions and engage with everyone at the table.

The benefits of family meals are far reaching. So, plan as many meals together as you possibly can. We know life is busy, but you must eat so why not do it together as a family? The rewards are unlimited. I promise you will have a more confident and happier child.

To see some of our favorite recipes to cook with your children, please visit the Toll Brothers’ Recipe Board on Pinterest!

Lisa Richey, author and creator of Manners To Go, contributed to this story.

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