Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Table Manners?

It seem like, lately, we've needed to work on table manners more at our house.

I mean, nothing terrible.  The girls aren't wild animals.  

It's just a bunch of little things that take away from the nice family meal we'd like to have.

Aaron made the incredibly valid point that we've never made meal time manners definable.  We just constantly remind them of the same things over and over until we all get irritated. 

We really don't want to exasperate our girls and we want to have family dinners be happy.

After one particularly frustrating meal, I sat down with the girls, and they helped me come up with the manners.

I wish some of these were jokes, but they're not.

Really, I wish I could say that the whole "don't lick the table" thing was a joke, but alas, it is not.  Apparently Gracie doesn't want to waste a drop of a drip of ketchup or syrup.  We all had a good laugh when I wrote that.

I'd also like to point out that sometimes Gracie treats ketchup as hand lotion...hence the rule about keeping your hands out of dips and cups.

I tried my best to keep the rules know, the whole "Ask someone to pass you food" bit as opposed to "don't reach across the table."

Leah added all of the exclamation points to the last sentence which is more of a reminder than a rule.  I can't be the only mommy who gets up from the table one million times per meal.

I'm happy to report that meal time manners are improving!

One of the things that has helped is giving direction to our conversation.  I pinned these Family Dinner Questions a long time ago.  The questions are all great but not all are age appropriate for our girls, so I pick out 1 per meal.  

Once we even did the whole high-low know, when each person shares the best and worst parts of their days.

Leah, who is so incredibly optimistic and cheerful, insisted that ALL of her day was the best and none of it was the worst!

We've told the girls that once their table manners are more consistent (we really need to make that more definable, too), we can go out to eat at the "fancy" new Italian restaurant in town.

Don't worry, I'll keep you posted :)

I'd love to know any tips you have on how you've encouraged your kids in good table manners while keeping things happy and cheerful and realistic.  

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