Education Blog

Teaching Table Manners to Kids in a Nugget World

September 21, 2021

Children-focused food is often packaged in pouches or nugget-shaped to be slurped on the table with fingers. Teaching children table manners can be difficult at dinnertime. Even though they may not be able to use a knife, fork or napkin at dinner, good table manners are important for children, even in kid-friendly restaurants. Good manners can help them in important social situations that could have a significant impact on their future lives.

Why For Kids This Matter

Holiday meals with the family will never go out-of-fashion. Even festive meals with family can be a bad reason to teach table manners. Even grandparents and caring aunties and uncles may be very forgiving or even encouraging of the occasional napkin slip. It is important to find motivation outside the family when a child’s behavior at the table has a direct impact on their parents.

Jennifer L. Scott (New York Times bestseller Connoisseur Kids) says, “There’s going be an event where you want your children have table manners so they don’t embarrass their whole family and people don’t look down upon you for not teaching them manners.” Scott, also known as Madame Chic, notes that manners are more than just saving face and building parental power. They could even be crucial to a child’s professional and personal growth.

Scott states that teaching for instance authoritative parenting such manners is an important part of life. I guarantee that your children will want good table manners when they start their first job.

How To Teach Table Manners To Kids

Children are taught these manners at dinner by a frustrated plea to their parents: “Please, for the love and all that is holy, please, use your fork and not wipe that gravy off your shirt.” However, gentle reminders are fine. But it may not be the best way to teach children table manners in the chaos of a nightly dinner.

Scott suggests that parents practice table manners with a simulated meal, which she calls a “dress rehearsal.” This is a fun way to practice these manners in a safe and enjoyable environment. Scott recommends that parents keep food out during practice sessions to help keep children focused.

“Set the table well. She suggests setting the table a bit higher than you would normally on a Tuesday night. Then, ask what the next step is after each step, going from the beginning to the end.

Scott asks parents to keep their table manners simple. Scott says that parents don’t have to debate which utensil is best for fish or how to spoon soup into a spoon. The chances of children running into more complicated rules is slim.

Dress rehearsals are a great way to teach table manners. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time. Scott points out that table manners should be part of every family’s meal plan. The behavior is natural when children and parents practice it.

Scott states, “I believe that we should always practice those things behind closed doors even though no one is watching.” It will naturally become who we are, and not fake or false.

Even if your child is eating a lot of nuggets, it’s still a good idea to ask for an excuse and use a napkin.