Is your child ready to dine at a friend’s house? Here are some rules that I wish every child had dinner at my house would follow. Because good manners really make an impression. As do not-so-good manners. Which reminds me, I should probably teach my own kids as well. In case they’ll be eating in my glass house.
1. If you want something from the refrigerator, ask. I’m happy to provide snacks and drinks, but please don’t treat my refrigerator as your own. If I ask “would you like something to eat?” the appropriate response is “yes, thank you,” not “let me see what you got” as you open the fridge and peer inside. It’s not quite searching the medicine cabinet, but it is its unfortunate cousin.
2. When your friend’s parent is making dinner, offer to help. This is a win-win for you. First, it’s polite. Second, the chance that a parent will ask you to help is very slim.
3. If you are asked to help set set the table, keep the eye rolling to a minimum. Preferably nonexistent.
4. Use utensils. I cannot stress this enough. Utensils. Use. Utensils.
5. And a napkin. Don’t wipe your mouth on your sleeve. Please.
6. During dinner, make eye contact when people address you. Don’t mumble into your food or into your sleeve that you are using to wipe your mouth.
7. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Remember: Eat Food, not Seafood.
8. When you are finished, offer to take your plate in.
9. When you are finished, say thank you.
Are there dinnertime rules that you encourage once your children get past the food tossing stage?
What kind of behavior do you want to see from kids who are coming over for dinner?