Friday, June 24, 2011
Teaching Table Manners to Toddlers: May I Be Excused?
Now that we've got the eating part under control, what do we do when the kids are finished eating?? That's simple!
1. Children should remain in their chairs until everyone is finished eating. We do this for several reasons. One being that once one child gets up from the table, the others want to get up too, regardless of if they are finished eating or not. The second reason is so that Mom and Dad are having their meal disrupted having to watch children. Bottom line, stay in the chair. It's just good manners!
2. When everyone is finished eating and it is time to get up, kids should be taught to ask to be excused from the table. This works well for older children as well. If you want to let them up before you are finished and they can handle not being watched, they should ask. Teaching them this early will make your job easier when they get older.
3. Kids should help clear dishes and wash up too. Yes.... toddlers can do this I promise. You may lose a few forks to the garbage at first, but it teaches them how to clean up after themselves. We like to use plastic plates, bowls and cups from Ikea. These are very inexpensive and wont break if dropped. Less stress for Mom.
Check them out: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90096908
And that's the end of this series on Toddlers and Table Manners! I hope you learned something and you're kids will too.
Stick around! There's much more to come! Next week is all about "Unspoken Rules of the Road".