Table manners

by Vaishali Sudan Sharma updated on March 30, 2015

TCT brings to you top 5 easy tips for teaching table manners to your kids. Take a look at them and practice as much as you can!

It was a good decision to get Brat H used to a high chair. At around 8 months, we introduced a high-chair in his life. Although I still feel that it was a bit late, but anyway, better late than never. 🙂Table manners 03

Click here to explore Graco's Tea Time High Chair 

Early this year, my parents gifted him a lovely Graco high chair and ever since then, it has been a hit. Nowadays, dad, mum and Brat H try to have one meal (that is dinner) together. There are times when he is cranky and isn’t too gung-ho about sitting on the chair. He starts acting up and I have to literally force him into it. The trick is to give him something to hold on to, place toys in front of him, or better still, start singing his favorite rhyme! When we are really desperate, we play a cartoon, well not really a cartoon, but the theme song of Balamory. He likes Ms. Hoolie 😉Table manners 02

At the moment and if I tell you honestly, we are definitely way too far from it. It seems like a mission impossible. He gets agitated sitting on it for more than 15 minutes. The last leg of those 15 minutes is terrible. He purposely drops his spoon on the floor and joyfully dips both his hands in that delicious bowl full of vegetable gravy.

But I have realised that with a plateful of patience and the ‘let’s not give up’ attitude, we will atleast be able to instil in him the basic idea of how to behave at the table. Most importantly, how to enjoy a meal with the family.

So, at the moment, Ace and I are investing some good time teaching him the simple concepts of table manners.Table manners 04

Take a look at some simple tips for teaching your child table manners:

1. Set the correct time, serve them meals at a fixed time and stick to this pattern on a daily basis. For instance, 8:00 AM breakfast, 1:00 PM lunch, 4:00 PM snack and 7:00 PM dinner. This way, they will get used to a set pattern and would know what is coming their way.

2. Tell them what you expect from them, and what could be the consequences if they don’t follow the rules. Place one thing at a time in front of them. If the child throws food on the floor, put one piece at a time on his high chair tray. When he is finished eating it, give him another. This way, it will be little less messier for you and he will learn patience and discipline.

3. Place one thing at a time in front of them. Toddlers are known to throw a lot of tantrums when it comes to food. So, if they throw food on the floor, then it is advised that you always put one piece of food item at a time on his highchair tray, e.g. one piece of chicken or carrot. When he is finished eating it, give him another. This way, he will make less mess, learn patience and discipline.

4. Practice with them as much as you can. Sit down with them at a time other than the fixed mealtime and explain what you expect out of them. Pen it down for them and keep reminding through pictorial representations. Ask them to remind you of those rules or you sing those rules along with them. If you are creative, then do a bit of a story-telling and mention those rules as a ‘lesson/conclusion of the story’. This can especially be practiced amongst the pre-schooler group who are known to be picky/fussy/slow eaters. Practising the art of conversation and active listening. It is advised to get started on this early on. Afterall, who would like to hear one-word answers and gloomy, dull faces on the dinner table!

5. Practising the art of conversation and active listening. It is advised to get started on this early on. Afterall, who would like to hear one-word answers and look at gloomy, dull faces on the dinner table!

Teaching table manners is definitely a nightmare, but my dear moms and dads, patience is a virtue.Table manners 01

Coming Soon: Tips to keep in mind while shopping for a high chair for your infant/toddler.

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11 thoughts on “Table manners”

  1. With kids, it’s never too early. Agree with all your suggestions, Vaishali 🙂 Even I introduced a high chair to H when she was 7 months old.

      1. Of course! Not only eating became relatively mess free, within a couple of weeks she knew that eating is supposed to be on the chair. It sounds strange, but setting up routine is easiest among babies. At two is pretty cool with a high chair.

  2. Table manners are so important! We use to take our kids out for Sunday breakfast to different restaurants. It was a great way to teach manners, because they were always excited about their new surroundings.
    😉 G-uno

      1. LOL My kids are now 25 & 23. Yes they have great table manners which I attribute to setting the example early on in their childhood. I think that another thing that helped was we always sat together for our meals, and made eating a time to bond rather than focus on the food. Even now the kids still drop by to eat meals together. Love your posts! G-uno