Kids and Table Manners

Maintaining a close knit family is hard work as it requires some creative thinking and much deliberateness. No time of day is more challenging than meal time, especially dinner. By the end of the day everyone in my home is tired and hungry as I am sure is the case in most homes. All I want to do is rush through the meal preparation and get dinner on the table as quickly as possible thus keeping the peace and my sanity. However, it is also important to me to include the kids even if it means I have to slow the process down to kid speed. We have always been pretty good about letting the kids help here and there but now that they are getting older I want to give them more free reign in the kitchen. My girl has been tackling some more of the actual cooking and is quickly gaining confidence around the stove. Little Guy loves to help with peeling and chopping vegetables, mixing is a big favorite of his always.


Husking Corn
I was recently inspired by an article I read to carry this kitchen attitude to the dining room table. In the past we have served the food on the plates while in the kitchen and then carried them into the dining room. My husband and I would use our Corelle plates while the kids used reusable plastic plates and cups. We have since started serving meals family style and giving the kids real plates like The Man and I. The kids really like being able to serve themselves their own helpings of food. They are learning about portion control and making sure their plates have at least a little bit of each item. The kids also feel grown up by being able to have a place setting that looks like ours. Each night at dinner they set the table together with My Girl setting the plates and Little Guy handling the silverware. After the meal is over one of them clears the table and the other wipes it down, I usually let them decide who wants to do which chore. Table manners have been improving since implementing these new ideas. The children must ask for someone to "please pass the ______" and they also must asked to be excused from the table. Dinner time while more structured is still a fun time for all of us.

Table set for Christmas (even the baby gets a place setting). 

Family Style Breakfast

Dinner time is a great time for us all to sit together and talk about our day. We can share big news and accomplishments or gather support after a bad day. We learn about each other while we nourish our bodies and reaffirm our place not only at the table but in our own family.

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