Have you noticed that as times change, so do manners? These days, people are so busy that they seem to forget what is important. Do you eat meals together with your entire family, or do you each just grab and run?
Being together as a family is important and can help keep your family close knit. What are some of the do’s and don’ts at your dinner table? In my family we eat our meals together, we pray before each meal, we are fully dressed, no hats, no elbows on the table and we have conversations while we eat.
Just imagine everyone sitting around the table, elbows resting by the plate, hats on, shirts off, food flying, grumpy faces….that’s enough to give someone serious indigestion! I really don’t think it’s too much to ask for a bit of simple social grace!
How about passing the food? I think that every dish of food should be passed around the entire table, instead of just grabbing what you want then plunking it down by your side. Or how about finger snapping…snap, snap, point….what’s that supposed to mean? We’re not animals, “pass the macaroni and cheese, please” sounds so much more humane.
Couple’s tend to work late, often bringing home work to do, kids are in sports, eating on the run, it’s no wonder families have become so disjointed. I once knew a family who ate cold cereal every night, yuck….and not very nutritious either. Now of course, it’s not always feasible to eat together, but you can start with one evening meal a week, it’s amazing how much you can learn about your children just by spending time with them at the dinner table.
I mentioned the cereal family, but I know of another family that never sits at their kitchen table, it’s used for junk, not food. They grab their meal and sit on the sofa and eat while watching T.V. this definitely is not good etiquette and does not encourage manners or conversation in any way at all.
I realize everyone may not have the same standards as my family, but as I sit at restaurants, or social events it’s so easy to see people who are seriously lacking in simple manners.
Simply put, I believe that manners need to begin at a young age, children can learn to eat with utensils at a very young age, don’t be afraid of them making a mess, it’s how they learn. Once a child begins to talk, they can learn please and thank you, behavior learned at an early age becomes habit and it’s never too early to begin. As children grow older they can learn how to set the table, they can be included in passing the food from left to right, they can also learn to say “thank you” for the meal and carry their plates to the sink. Sitting up straight while eating is not only good manners, but creates better posture and encourages healthier eating habits as well. I also believe it's important for everyone to remain at the table until everyone has finished eating, I often spend a good hour making a meal and think it's rather rude for someone to just eat and run, sitting for a few more minutes is going to help your food digest better and it shows a great deal of respect, and the family conversation won't hurt you either!
“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.”