Parenting

Feeding Time?

We know getting kids to eat a healthy, balanced diet can be tricky, let alone teaching them table manners. So if your little ones are turning family meals into mini ordeals, take a look at our top 5 tips for putting manners on the menu.

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By The Scott's Team   | 3 min read


By The Scott's Team
3 min read

1. Explain Why Manners Matter

We all want to give our kids the skills they need to succeed in life – and good table manners are just one of those skills. But kids eat to refuel – not to impress. So as they get older, try explaining that knowing the polite thing to do will help them feel at home in all kinds of social situations – whether they’re at a friend's house, eating with family, or dining out in fancy restaurants.

2. Show Them How It’s Done

Having family meals together is the best way to model and teach good manners. You can lead by example by talking politely at the table, discouraging arguments, lectures or raised voices and saying "please" and"thank you" when asking for something to be passed. You can teach them respect for others at the table by not looking at tablets, texting, watching TV or getting up and down to do other things while eating.

3. Always Be Consistent

Consistency helps make good manners a habit, so whenever you introduce a particular behaviour, set expectations and use gentle reminders to reinforce it. Prompt a "thank you" for that second helping of peas, or hand them a piece of cutlery if they’re using fingers. And don’t try to introduce any more than a few new behaviors at a time –it’ll be too much information for them to process.

4. Reinforce Good Behavior

Gently praise your child for behaving well at the table – when they sit nicely and ask politely for things, for example. And be specific about what it was that impressed you (so they can repeat it!). But don't overdo the praising – you don't want them to feel that they’re the center of attention whenever you sit down to share a meal.    

5. Be Patient

Kids don’t learn table manners overnight – it takes years of practice. So be patient and don’t stress out over it. There’ll be plenty of mishaps and mistakes along the way, but as they’re taught to observe good manners, your child will start to develop them too. Use plenty of gentle guidance, never scold or embarrass – just kindly correct the behavior, keep calm and carry on eating!

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By The Scott’s Team

TAGS

KIDS    FAMILY    TREES

HEALTH    CLIMBING

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