There are some parts of raising children that are important in my eyes. Raising kids to be kind, compassionate and respectful is at the top of the list.
I worry that our lives are all becoming too busy and too fast, and that we don’t take the time needed to encourage respectful behaviour in our kids when it comes to others. I see people in the grocery stores that aren’t bothered about their child talking with food in their mouth and I wonder what happened to the importance of manners.
When it comes to food, my kids have manners that they must follow. It may sound “old school,” but these are hard and fast rules for me and I won’t bend on them. Just as it’s important to say “please” and “thank you” in life, learning and encouraging polite eating behaviour is important too!
Click through to read the 10 table manners I insist my kids have mastered by now:
You Must Wait 1 of 10My kids are not supposed to start eating their food until everyone is sitting at the table. It's good manners to wait until everyone is ready.
Photo credit: teofilo/Flickr
Stay Seated 2 of 10My kids have been taught to stay seated in their chair. They need to be reminded a lot, but it's a steady rule. No wiggling, no getting up, and if they need to they're to ask to be excused.
Photo credit: vinzcha/Flickr
Say the Three Words 3 of 10"Please", "Thank you," and "Excuse me," are all important to use at the dinner table, no exceptions!
Photo credit: Annie Mole/Flickr
No Elbows 4 of 10I don't really know where this rule came from, but it's what I was taught when I was little and it's still a rule today. No elbows on the table.
Photo credit: melalouise/Flickr
Mouths Closed 5 of 10My biggest peeve is open chewing. It's not allowed, no exceptions, and will not fly!
Photo credit: cpence/Flickr
Bite Sized 6 of 10This rule helps the previous one -- only eat mouth-sized bites. If it's too big of a bite, the kids will chew with their mouth open. They're encouraged to take smaller bites and I help out making sure their food is cut into good sizes.
Photo credit: roger4336/Flickr
No Icky Sounds 7 of 10No burping, slurping, humming or chew noises are allowed at the table. It's my second biggest table manner peeve so it's also really enforced.
Photo credit: ChelseaWa/Flickr
No Mean Comments 8 of 10If my kids don't like what is on the plate or they think something looks weird, they're encouraged not to make any negative comments. They can ask what it is, what it's made out of and not eat it, but they can't be mean about it.
Photo credit: ChelseaWa/Flickr
Don’t Reach 9 of 10If my kids can't reach something like the ketchup, they're encouraged not to just reach for it across the table. Asking someone near the ketchup to pass it to them is what they're to do.
Photo credit: comedy_nose/Flickr
Thank the Chef 10 of 10My kids are encouraged to thank who ever cooked the meal for them. Whether it's at home, out at family's house, or in a restaurant, saying thank you is important.
Photo credit: John Rees/Flickr
Photo credit: adapted from iStockPhoto