For parents of young children, holiday meals can be a challenge. I don’t know about you, but I often cook for hours, only to have my littler one turn up his nose at everything, and tell me he’s all done. He’s also recently taken to declaring, “That’s disgusting,” whenever he’s confronted with an unfamiliar food. Wow, I can’t wait for my in-laws to join us for the holidays!
Manners are something we work on all year long. I’m constantly reminding my older one to sit up at the table, rather than practically lying down. We have worked on using our utensils rather than our fingers (except when eating pizza, of course). We have talked about how to use a napkin rather than our shirtsleeves. And we try to stay at the table until everyone is done. Finally, when the meal is over, our preschooler helps by clearing his own place. These, I think are age-appropriate skills to teach a toddler and a preschooler.
Still, the holidays provide an opportunity to step things up a little bit. We always read The Mini Page, which comes in our local Sunday paper. Last week’s installment focused on holiday manners. While I couldn’t find that edition online, I was able to find a very similar edition from 2006, The Mini Page – 2006 Thanksgiving Manners, which is available….here. It contains a little manners quiz where children can say whether each child pictured is using good manners. It also contains an illustration for how to properly set a table — very useful for adults as well as children.
Here are a couple of other sources for manners help:
Allrecipes “Kids’ Guide to Table Manners”….here
A Good Apple’s “Be a Manners Detective” downloadable lesson and worksheets ….. here.