Growing up, my brother and I always accompanied our parents everywhere they went. When we went out to eat, we were expected to be on our best behavior and to stay in our seats. So, when I became a parent, I followed my parents' example and carried my daughter everywhere I went. Since she was a small baby, she has accompanied me to everything from buffets to five star restaurants. I have been asked many times how I taught her those manners, so when I heard SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese were looking for bloggers to write about dinner time tradition and etiquette I knew I could contribute to this conversation.
We eat dinner together every night and having that family time together is very important to us. Since my daughter is 12 now, we no longer have the same issues that parents with smaller children have, but here are the rules we follow that got us this far!
Dinner time dos and don'ts for everyone:
1. Wash your hands BEFORE you sit down to eat! Come to dinner clean so you don't contaminate the food.
2. Make sure you are sitting in your chair the correct way. Feet need to be on the floor and your bottom needs to be in the seat of the chair.
3. Wait for Grace to be said before you start eating. Since we wait for the entire family to sit down to say the blessing, this means everyone will be seated before eating begins.
4. Contribute to the conversation. Tell us about things that are important to you and let us know your opinions in family discussions.
5. Carry your dishes to the kitchen when dinner is over. When everyone contributes, clean up is done quickly and with less stress!
1. Don't come to the table with anything electronic! No cell phones, ipods, computers, games, or anything else may be used at dinner.
2. Don't eat like a caveman at the table. You know how to use utensils. Put them to use! This also includes napkins! Your sleeves and pant legs are not proper wiping spots!
3. Do not interrupt other people when they are talking. Give them some attention. When it is your turn to talk, they will repay your kindness.
4. Don't say ANYTHING negative about the food or who cooked it. If you don't like the food, don't eat it. You can always make yourself a PB&J later.
5. Don't act like being at dinner with your family is a chore. Put your soul into it and you might find out you are enjoying yourself!
Enjoy being with your family, be polite and have fun together!
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.