Reviving Table Manners

How important are table manners?

messy at this age is cute, right?

Well, unless you want your 12-year old or 17-year old to look like this…I guess manners are pretty important!! Start early at the dinner table at home…teaching manners normally, encouraging what you want to see and discouraging what won’t be helpful in the future.

sometimes “extras” arrive at the table

Kids need to learn how to use utensils properly, even if it’s easier on you to let them do it their way. That interaction of passing food and using please and thank you all of the time is an important part of encouraging manners.

practicing out with others

Each time you go out to dinner with the kids, practice, practice, practice! Kids should stay at the table the entire time, and because I’m sure you haven’t chosen a fancy restaurant that will take longer than their little ‘patiences’ can handle, they can join the family in talking. Okay, you do have to make sure you bring your goodie bag, filled with age-appropriate distraction: Cheerios or Kix, raisins, coloring books, puzzles. I’m hoping beyond all hope, and probably not very realistically, that all electronics for both parents and kids are turned off and ignored during dinner. This should be a great family time, learning how to have fun and be polite in a restaurant.

indoors and outdoors

Eating with the Torch Lake kids has been a constant event for our boys. All the kids learned manners appropriate for the occasion, inside manners, outside picnic…older ones were always encouraged to be good role models for the younger ones. Did it always work that way?? Of course not, but that was what we were trying for!

There is always a time for fun :)
the group

Whether at a Christmas dinner or on a trail ride on vacation, we hoped the boys would remember their manners. Being polite to those who serve you is necessary. Can your kids order their meal themselves (after you have given them their choices)? If they learn to speak up and politely answer the server’s questions, they will be far ahead of the majority of young ones. Do they say, “Thank you” when their order is placed in front of them? Do you? Remember that you are always the role model, one way or the other.

in Gulf Shores with the group

Our Torch Lake Group has taken many vacations together which involves many meals eaten out. As the kids grew older they were able to be at their own kids’ table as long as they were careful with their manners. They loved that idea so much that they usually controlled themselves…notice the usually?? They were our kids, and we have been known to be less than proper at dinner from so much laughing, so we could never be too upset with them. They were definitely chips off the old blocks!! But we were not ever rude to other customers or the staff and neither were the kids. Goofy is good, mean is not!

Kids’ table this year

We continue to enjoy each other’s company every year. The kids are grown, but they still love having their kids’ table.


……and here’s to teaching and learning great manners!!

here’s to us :)

Manners inside the home translate to manners outside the home, and good manners leave wonderful impressions with those we know and those we don’t know. Encourage the best in your children!!

Happy Parenting!
D and C 








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  1. Kara says:

    I am huge on manners! My boys are 4 and 5…we constantly practice using good manners. I expect good manners but unfortunately other people's children are lacking in the manners department. I am very proud of my boys when other people comment on how polite they are. I just have to remember to continue to expect them to use good manners and model as I do that. P.S. We go to Gulf Shores for Spring Break and I grew up going there each Spring Break…what great memories!

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