February 10, 2011

Dos and Don'ts of Dinner Table Etiquette.

If only I lived in a "Leave it to Beaver" world. My family sitting sweetly around a perfectly laid out table, politely passing dishes of homecooked goodness around the family table. Fast forward to the real world and you will discover my husband and I sitting on our couch with our tray tables munching on my "prepared" (previously frozen) dinner. As my family continues to grow, I am on the look out for ways to set a better example of the dos and don'ts of dinner time etiquette. Here are the ten goals I would like to have in place for my own family's dinner time.

  1. No Cell Phones Allowed. It's hard to carry on meaningful conversations if everyone is in their own technological world. Seriously, the text messages can wait thirty minutes until after dinner is over.
  2. The regular phone can wait. You might think, "Wait a second, isn't that the same thing?" Our house has a handy dandy thing called an answering machine. If it's an emergency or a pressing situation we can hear it on the machine, otherwise, the call can wait until our family dinner is over. 
  3. Please and Thank You. Barney tells us that these are called the "magic words." It's not unrealistic to expect your children to ask for and pass food with politeness. We've taught our 18 month-old some baby sign language, including the words "please" and "thank you." So now, when he wants a snack or some more toast, he says please. It's never to early to start modeling good behaviour.
  4. Turn off the Tube. This is hard for me. I'm weird, in that I really don't like the sound of people eating. I enjoy having a little bit of background noise to drown out the chewing sounds, but this same goal can be accomplished through some softly playing background music. 
  5. Everybody Shares in Conversation. I've heard of families that go around the table sharing about their day. Each individual shares one thing that made them "sad, mad, and glad." It's a great way to make dinnertime more than about sharing a meal.
  6. Don't Reach across the Table. Rather than sticking your armpit in your brother's face, simply ask politely (using "please" of course). If reaching for food places you in your neighbors space, it's better to ask for the item to be passed.
  7. Ask to be Excused. Just because you've finished your dinner in record time doesn't mean that you are free to dash back off to your own little world. Stay at the table for a little while and participate in conversation. 
  8. Try Every New Food at Least Once. Let's face it, some foods just look weird. Or they smell weird. Or they seem just plain ole unappetizing. Our family rule: try at least one bite. Don't judge a food before tasting it - it might just surprise you.
  9. Keep Your Bodily Functions to Yourself. Burping is gross and definitely unappetizing. If you feel gas on it's way, politely excuse yourself from the table and take care of business. No one else wants to listen to (or smell) your gasiness. It's just plain rude.
  10. Clean up After Yourself. Take your used plates and dishes to the sink. Do you want bonus points? Rinse them off and stick them in the dishwasher. If everyone does their part, clean-up doesn't take long at all.
The family table is a great place to share life together. Learning a few simple dos and don'ts can make the process more enjoyable for everyone.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


1 comment:

  1. Nice point of dinner table i follow this point . thanks for nice shared and interesting this post.


Thanks for visiting! I love hearing from you!