Table rules for meals together

Smacking, belching and a spoon flying through the air – you imagined dinner together to be a little different. Good table manners not only avoid embarrassing moments outside your own four walls, they are also real everyday helpers at home. We’ll tell you how to enforce a few simple basic rules in the whole family.

The hectic everyday life does not always make it possible to gather everyone around a table. Eating together is time together, in which young and old can deal with each other, talk, laugh and relax. In order for everyone to feel comfortable, clear agreements are needed as to what is and is not allowed at the table. It’s about the notorious table manners that many associate with a strict set of rules from their own childhood. Some rules now seem nonsensical to you, but some classics still make it easier to spend time at the table with your loved ones, especially when visiting friends or in a restaurant.

What table rules do I want to set?

Think about what should be taken into account when eating together and what you can expect from your children. Especially at the beginning, it doesn’t have to be a complete school of etiquette. However, there should be a few simple ground rules, for example:

  • Washing hands before eating.
  • We only eat when everyone is seated at the table.
  • Nobody speaks with their mouths full.
  • No slurping, smacking or the like when eating.
  • Everyone eats from their own plate.
  • Only load enough onto the spoon that nothing spills.
  • You don’t have to eat up, but try everything.

When do I start demanding table manners?

From the age of about one year, children can sit in the high chair and move to the common dining table. Of course, there is still a lot of messing around and it will take quite a while for the movement sequences to work. Most children are only able to understand and safely implement table rules at the age of four or five. Nevertheless, even the little ones can learn a lot from the grown-ups, get to know the meals as a shared ritual and soon develop a feeling for the process and rules at the table. Once internalized, they later implement rules quite naturally and on their own.

By the way: Even if table manners that are practiced early on make a lot of things easier, with a little perseverance and ingenuity you can of course also convince older family members of the new rules.

How do I enforce table rules?

  • Set age-appropriate rules: Remember that some rules cannot yet be mastered by the little family members. For example, while it’s nice to start meals together and finish them together. However, the concentration span of the youngest is often not sufficient for extended dinners and should therefore not be demanded. Instead, you can, for example, adjust the time frame of the meals to their needs or you simply let them get up from the table earlier.
  • Be a role model: Children learn a lot through imitation. The adults are role models and use their own table manners to show how it is done (or not done). If you and your partner set a good example, your children will quickly internalize the new rules.
  • Maintaining consistency, patience and composure: New processes and rules rarely work right from the start and without friction. Even if you’ve said several times that you don’t like smacking, there will still be unpleasant noises at the table from time to time. Keep calm, give the whole thing time to settle down, and consistently demonstrate that good table manners are important to you.
  • Praise, praise, praise: Constant admonitions at the table are exhausting for everyone involved and depress the mood. If rules are not observed, there must of course be consequences, otherwise they quickly become obsolete. However, it is just as important that you notice success and show it. Your kids will be happy about a nice compliment and will be encouraged to participate in the future.
  • Try new ways:It doesn’t really want to work with the table rules? Be creative and try to convey your wishes in a playful way. For example, you can pack rules into small rhymes: “Before eating, don’t forget to wash your hands!” – “Hooray hooray, you’re hungry, everyone’s here, let’s get started!” The rhymes are easy to memorize and can be shared to be recited. Or you can use the lively imagination of the little ones and let the spoon become a transporter that must not be loaded too full for its journey into the mouth. Perhaps a small compromise will also lead to success: once a week there is a messy day when you can cuddle and munch to your heart’s content. Try different methods, you will definitely find a way to inspire your children.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *