Table manners for troublesome tots!

We can all learn a thing or two about this

Toddlers are messy little monsters and they never mind covering themselves in food or drinks. They will never see why you take issue to their table manners unless you show them how to behave at the table from a young age. It is vital that they learn while young so in the future you can go for dinner as a family in restaurants. Here are some tips that are easy to keep to… 
  • Start them young- From a young age you should begin to teach them table manners. Sure, when they are small they will make a mess of their food and that’s ok but they should be encouraged to be well-mannered at the table. Getting their high chair and bringing it to the table is key or getting a booster high chair so they can sit like everyone in the family. 
  • Sit at the table as a family- This is vital as if your child sees everyone sitting at the table in a well-behaved manner they will naturally follow suit. Sitting at the dinner table is a vital part of family life and it should be done regularly to keep families connected. 
  • Turn off the TV and ban all devices- TV shouldn’t be on while your kiddie is eating. It will distract them and doesn’t teach them how to behave properly at a table. Dinner time should be a time to chat to one another and this will improve your kiddie’s social skills as well as their table manners. 
  • Teach your kiddie how to eat properly- Show your kiddie how to use their knife and fork and even if they make a mess persevere and let them learn how to manage it. This will give them confidence and it is good for their hand and eye co-ordination. 
  • Get funny placemats and cool cutlery- Kids will always be impressed by funny or cartoon inspired placemats or cutlery. Make a big deal of these bits and ensure they understand how big they are using their cool placemat and cutlery. It really is the little things that matter most to the youngsters. 
  • Make food fun- If you can be a little creative, do so and it will encourage mannerly eating but also healthy eating too! Look on the internet for food inspiration and it is amazing how a few simple bits of food can be designed into a fierce monster or a dolly! 
  • Talk together at meal times- Have the chats at dinner time and use the time at the table as a chance to talk to one another after a busy day. While your youngster may not be full of chat at their young age they will watch and listen to everyone else which is exactly what you want. 
  • Be consistent- If your child is doing something wrong at the table and misbehaving, be consistent and refuse to let your child have the final word. Youngsters will learn how to manipulate you from a young age so avoid getting caught and be fair and be consistent. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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