When I shared last week an open letter to my fellow parents, I wasn’t playing around. It is one of the biggest manner rules that I think should be followed. It’s more important than thank you notes, the reciprocal “how are you” and it’s certainly something that can easily be taught.
A few weeks ago I was out with my toddler and in an area with a lot of children — this is actually what spawned my rant last week. It was lunch time and a six year old boy sat down with his lunch as my daughter ( 3-years old) sat down with ours.
It was disgusting. I was shocked. I lost my appetite as this 6-year old slapped his food like I have never heard. & never want to hear ever again. It was so gross I think I may be permanently scared by it (okay, I’m exaggerating…. maybe).
A six year old should know better (neuro-typical, able-bodied) and it really isn’t hard to enforce just how important this manner is — unless it’s not important to you (it really should be).
Click through for 3 easy ways to teach your child to eat with their mouth closed:
1) Sit down to eat:
Really before your child even starts eating real food themselves, they will be watching you. Make sure you’re not one of the people who eat with your mouth open. Let them sit and watch you eat properly. I mean, you probably eat more than 3 times a day if you’re an average person — that’s a lot of opportunity for modelling correct eating etiquette.
2) Let them know:
Point out to them the manners that are important when you’re eating. Tell them that it’s rude to eat with your mouth open and no one should hear you eating — unless it’s something crunchy and you can’t really help it.
3) Reinforce it:
If your child starts eating with their mouth open, tell them to stop. Tell them again if they do it again. You can do this gently and it doesn’t have to be a totally negative thing. If you are noticing they are doing it a lot, encourage them to take smaller bites and slow down.
See, not hard. Please put it into practice 🙂
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