"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use."
~ Emily Post
(via Emily's Everyday Manners)
I ran across this guide to table manners for children four to seven years old. I can see I have a little bit of of work to do with my kids.
What you can expect…Sit at the table with familyHelp set and clear the table (with assistance)Participate in table conversationUse table utensilsServe and pass dishesChew with the mouth closedThe relevant manners…Asks to be excusedIs quiet during graceParticipates in conversation during the mealUses utensils and napkinStays at the table until doneSits up (doesn’t drape over the table)Chews with mouth closedDoesn’t talk with mouth fullWhat a parent can do…MODEL, MODEL, MODELREPEAT, REPEAT, REPEATBe patientHave meals together as a family (good for family and a great opportunity for kids to learn and practice table manners)Encourage good posture at the tablePick 3 most important table rules or guidelines and focus on thosePractice at home for meals away from homeMODEL, MODEL, MODELREPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT