To an adult, table manners are almost automatic — as simple as chewing and swallowing. To a young child, behaving at mealtime involves learning a set of skills. These tips will help you teach manners to your little one:
Teach manners at the table by role-playing during a tea party or while playing "restaurant." These games double as lessons and practice sessions.
- Keep rules positive and simple to help teach matter to your child: We sit. We eat with our forks.
- Reinforce your rules during mealtime. Hand him his fork and napkin, and remind him to use them.
- Set a good example. Demonstrate the manners you'd like to see your child use, and he'll follow in your footsteps.
- For an irreverent way to teach manners, get silly and practice bad manners. Invite your child to point out what you're doing wrong and then do it the right way.