How do you feel about table manners?
Are they high on your list of priorities when it comes to the things you focus on teaching your kids?
I was listening to the radio this morning when I heard a segment about kids and table manners. What surprised me was a comment the presenter made about how rare it is for families to eat together, especially around a table.
Really? Does no-one actually do that anymore? I'm not so sure. In our house, we eat dinner together at the kitchen table at least four or five nights of the week. Are we really alone in this?
Admittedly, meal times can be one of the most stressful parts of our family life, so I do regularly consider feeding the kids earlier in the evening so that my husband and I can enjoy a peaceful, relaxing meal once they're all in bed – but it's really important to me that my kids experience eating together as a family.
I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because that's what my family did when I was a kid, so family mealtimes just feel normal to me. Or maybe it's because, especially as my kids get older, I'm all too aware that opportunities to spend time together as a family can feel few and far between and so mealtimes feel sort of sacred.
So, yes, table manners are pretty important in my house, simply because I'd rather not spend an hour in the company of kids who chew with their mouths wide open, or who don't know how to use a knife and fork. I don't think that makes me odd but I'm sure there are folks who will disagree.
I'm not over the top about table manners but the basics matter to me – sitting on your chair 'properly', using cutlery, swallowing your food before trying to talk to me, and helping to clear the table after the meal.
But what's your view on this? Do you think it's important to eat together as a family or are you happy to eat in front of the telly with plates perched on your knees? (I'm not judging) And if table manners matter to you, how do you teach them to your kids, and which ones do you think are most important?
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