You’ve had the reservation for weeks. Friday night is creeping up, accompanied by the familiar anxiety: how will my children behave in public? Dining out should be FUN. By practicing Mrs. B’s tips for table etiquette, children will be prepared to tackle new experiences (and even collect a few compliments along the way!) 20190609-twmb-alanas-8th-birthday-9458-min

  1. When a new item is introduced to the table, offer first to the person on your left, then take a piece for yourself and pass to the right (no longer needing to offer to the person on the left, as it has already been passed).
  2. Chewing with your mouth closed is important, of course! Take small enough bites that you do not need to chew too long should someone ask us a question
  3. Sitting up straight can be difficult in the beginning, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. This small, telling gesture lets everyone at the table know we are happy to be in their company.
  4. Elbows should never be introduced to the table as long as there is food on it. Plus, you cannot sit up straight if your elbows are on the table (it’s science). Remind one another to keep pesky elbows away with a simple point to your own elbow.
  5. Avoid interrupting others. Wait to speak until after someone else is done with his or her thought. Additionally, keep your voice at a comfortable level for the environment.
  6. Standing without excusing yourself is a historic “no no.“ Always ask the table if you may be excused to the restroom, to take an important call, etc.

In our experience, children pick up so many habits from their families, that meal time at home can make or break good manners. Your interest in helping your child achieve good manners is a wonderful way to help make these habits routine.

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