Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Table Talk: Manners Matter
As you eat, keep in mind that kids like to do things for themselves, so don't get too upset if they reach for a bowl to help themselves to another serving. Explain that asking for someone to pass the food is the right thing to do. Instruct your child to eat slowly so as not to risk choking, and remind him to chew with his mouth closed. This task may take a few reminders, and you can even set a mirror in front of the child to show him how yucky it looks. A big offender at a table with children is playing with food - whether it's bubbles in their drinks or mounds of potatoes artfully arranged in odd shapes on the plate. In this case, remove the "plaything" and let a repeat offender know that he won't be welcome at the table much longer if he keeps it up. Explain why it's rude to make faces or blurt out ugly things about the food. Don't let it become a habit at your home, or the child might continue the bad manners elsewhere. Help your child focus on something he did like during the meal, and encourage him to compliment it instead of focusing on the "gross" food. Make mealtimes more appetizing with good manners.