Articles for Good Living

How to teach table manners to kids

Teaching your children good table manners is a valuable skill that will benefit them throughout their lives. Your children will enjoy dining with others as they mature, starting with lunches in the cafeteria and evolving into first dates and, later, business dinners with colleagues.

Using Utensils

Finger foods are probably a big part of your children's meals, but eating with their hands isn't the most polite way to dine. Talk to your children about the importance of using utensils. Tell them that adults eat with utensils, so encourage them to use a fork, spoon and knife when appropriate. Encourage your children to turn to their fellow diners if they are unsure whether they should use their hands or utensils. If other diners are using utensils, your children should as well.

Interacting with Fellow Diners

Good table manners include polite interaction at the dinner table. Teach your children how to politely ask for food, such as "May I please have the butter?" or "Could you please pass the butter?" Encourage them to thank their fellow diners for passing the food. Your children should also learn to express their gratitude when the food is served and when the meal is complete.