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Quick Way to Teach Table Manners to Your Child

There are certain things every child should be taught, and table manners are at the top of the list. No matter how casual your lifestyle might be, your children will be put into situations where knowing the basics is important. It could make the difference between getting that first job or being passed over for someone that is not a “work in progress.” The younger the child is when you begin teaching these skills, the more likely it is they will become second nature. Most little ones will respond positively if you make it a game. When our son was just three, we began playing what I coined as The Quarter Game. I made sure we had dinner, at the table, as a family (this may not always be achievable, but mealtime together is important for the health of your family, so try to make this a priority). I set the table the way it is supposed to be set. This helped commit the utensil placement to memory. Once we sat down to eat, we each pulled out a handful of coins, and the game began! We taught our son the basics, like putting his napkin in his lap. For the game, if he forgot, and his dad or I caught him, we would call him out: “I get a quarter! Your napkin is not in your lap.” Our son would them give us a quarter. What makes this game fun for a child, though, is it works both ways. My husband has impeccable manners, but for the purpose of teaching our son, he would “slip up,” and you might see him chewing his food with his mouth open. This would set our son up for success when he competitively and gleefully announced, “Daddy, I get a quarter! You are chewing with your mouth open.” It was amazing to see how quickly our son mastered the etiquette of table manners, and it added another element of fun to dinner time!


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