We've moved on to a new Privilege Pass (Accountable Kids) in our home and the girls need to master their table manners to earn their pass, which is good for some enticing activities.
So here was our latest project. The girls created a place mat. This is very helpful, especially for the child that has the "set table" extra chore for the week. The girls traced all the utensils, plate, glass, etc and cut them out of card stock. We glued them onto a manila file folder and labeled each of them. Then I cut the folder down a little, added the "Table Manners" list and laminated it with contact paper.
Now some of you may be thinking, "What?! 17 table manners to master!?" And my answer is, "Yes! But not all at once."
We started with the first 2 and each night we add another "requirement" to get the pass. So we all sit at the table and all together read through however many they are up to, then we pray. So far it has worked really well.
What I like is that if one of the girls is say, chewing with their mouth open, I can simply ask them to read the corresponding number and they are reminded. If they are making a true effort and only require a few "reminders," they earn the pass. I think the girls like the formality of it all, plus they don't have to keep it all in their head right away. We just review and immediately practice, by the time a month is up they should have them all memorized and hopefully mastered!
I also want to point out that we only do this at the dinner time meal, not at every meal or snack time, although the girls have asked!
Here is the list were using, I've adapted it from a great book by Carol McD. Wallace called "Elbows Off the Table, Napkin in the Lap, No Video Games During Dinner. The Modern Guide to Teaching Children Good Manners." She divides Manners into stages based on age, the book is comical and practical. .
1. Stay seated.
2. Sitting means sitting, no kneeling, no knees up, no chins in plates.
3. Wait until after prayer to start eating.
4. Chew with your mouth closed.
5. Don't talk with food in your mouth.
6. Don't eat with your fingers.
7. Use the correct utensil.
8. Don't wave utensils around.
9. No playing with food or other items on the table.
10. Eat only off your own plate.
11. Don't say food is yucky.
12. Use your napkin, not your clothes or arms.
13. Elbows off the table.
14. Keep your free hand in your lap.
15. No singing at the table.
16. Ask to be excused.
17. Clear your place.
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