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If you’re like me, you don’t like being embarrassed. I mean, who does? Well, with young kids, I personally find it hard to go do certain things, such as dinner in public, because they are at a stage where they say the first thing that comes in their head and they don’t eat like adults. I know their kids, but when out in public, those without kids always have the glaring looks and I hate to be in the position, where I feel as though someone else’s dinner is being disturbed because of me bringing my kids out.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a time where we used to all go out as a family for dinner, but those days have not been happening for some time. During the last time we went out, my oldest son was potty training and he had an accident in the restaurant and then continued to have a temper tantrum. I am sure my face was beet red in Applebee’s – I remember that day as if it was yesterday. Therefore, since that event went on, I decided its best if we avoid going to restaurants until they are older.
Well, now they are older and everyone is for the most part potty trained, however, now comes table manners. They know the basics not to throw food or make too much of a mess. Nevertheless, when it comes to chewing with their mouths open and talking quietly we still have a way to go.
Anyways, about two months ago I ran across this amazing company called Golly Gee-pers! And let me tell you, they have kids manners in the bag. Therefore, since I cannot be the only parent on the planet teaching little ones table manners, I decided to share some tips with you all today.
Read them a Book about It
My boys love reading and doing story time each night. The best part is they actually pay attention to what goes on in the stories we read and they make the connection about how they can apply what they learned in real life. Well, Golly Gee-pers has a book titled, “If a Very Important Person Invited You to Lunch”, which also happens to be an award-winning book.
In the story, the book brings up various scenarios that could happen if a child was invited to lunch by someone important. It ends by saying, “Do you think it matters if it’s the president or if it’s just me”?
Well, my boys of course admitted that they would be on their best behavior if it was someone important (we used their favorite superheroes as examples since they don’t know about the president yet), and we also discussed why it is important for them to be on their best behavior even when it is just us.
Overall, reading your kid a book about table manners can be a creative way to instill how they should act when eating out in them.
Make Learning Table Manners into a Game
We were also able to try out the Table Manners Cards from Golly Gee-pers. At first, the boys weren’t really trying to use the cards, but they grew on them (or rather I kept casually sliding them in during lunch time). In addition, another plus for me is since my oldest is improving with word recognition and reading, these cards provide him with an educational experience too.
Overall, if you make practicing table manners into a game your kids will be more accepting to do what they need to do during dinner.
Be a Positive Influence
It’s no surprise that we don’t eat every meal together as a family. However, whenever I eat something and the kids are around or we are doing a family meal I make sure that I abide by the table rules. I don’t play around on my cell phone while eating or let them catch me eating while I am typing on the computer. I mean how can I say no toys at the table and then be on my computer or cell phone. Contradicting myself right?
Overall, whatever rules you want your kid to follow while eating, you have to make sure that you are following them too.
Practice Makes Perfect
Lastly, keep practicing the table manners until it becomes a habit. When you aren’t eating all meals together it can make this hard. However, even when I’m not eating dinner when my kids are I remind them of what should go on at dinner time and what shouldn’t.
We aren’t quite ready to go out to restaurants again, but they are making improvements. If you are going through the table manner phase yourself, just remember to have a ton of patience.
How do you teach your little ones table manners?
Now for the fun part! Golly Gee-pers has been so kind to sponsor a giveaway here on Giveaways 4 Mom. One of you lucky readers is going to win your very own copy of “If a Very Important Person Invited You to Lunch” and a set of “Table Manners Cards”. Good luck to all who enter! Giveaways 4 Mom is not responsible for shipping out the prize!