Cultures have different traditions and unsung ways when it comes to the dining table. Or even a dining mat. This post will not delve into these difference. However, we will help you have an idea on how to teach your kids basic table manners. And how you can help make them understand why to have them. Plus, check out some cute toddler tableware your kids will surely enjoy having in the dining area!
Toddler Tableware: Teaching Your Child To Eat Independently
We don’t mean leaving them be and forgetting about the importance of eating as a family. No. Not at all. Similarly, we don’t mean that eating independently is a sign of your child’s development. It simply is an external factor that helps your toddler’s development as he or she becomes less reliant on mommy and daddy when it comes to eating.
Because that’s where they’ll inevitably go. We know that you love those moments of spoon-feeding your child. Very literally at that. At ages 1 to toddler, and a little over, On the other hand, they’re growing and will continue to grow up.
The purpose of why we spoon-feed them when they’re but babies is because they aren’t able to eat on their own yet. A “duh” statement but to-the-point. Their joints haven’t fully formed. Therefore finger dexterity is still out of the picture.
But, once they begin growing into the toddler years, their bone and muscle structures will strengthen and holding their own spoon and fork will finally be a feat they can achieve!
Teaching Basic Table Manners
If you belong to a culture that does not follow this post’s tips, we don’t mean any offense. In fact, we love that there’s diversity in your and our traditions! Similarly, for those of you who follow the same practices as we do, take a look at the following suggestions on how to say what you want to teach.
Cleanliness is first and foremost. In any setting, show your kids how to properly wash their hands. A good tip to do so is to sing the happy birthday song while washing. Researches have revealed that the length of the said song should be the length of time spent when soaping and washing hands.
Second, encourage them to set the table up with you. The word is “encourage”. Doing this is a commanding manner will simply force them to do the task when you’re around, and only during the first few times. However, for them to have this mindset even when mommy or daddy isn’t home. And for them to carry this responsibility with them even as they mature into adulthood, encouragement is what’s needed. Make them understand the preciousness of “community”, working together, and caring for one another.
Next, teach them that waiting until everybody is seated before they start to eat is a sign of respect. Also, the “togetherness” that eating at the same time builds in your child a sense of social development. So that the meaning of being IN a society, of “belonging” IN society, will be inculcated in him or her as he or she grows up.
Another is to chew with mouths closed. Additionally, this is another form of respect for those around them. Plus, it’s difficult to understand what you’re saying when your mouth is full anyway! That said, encourage them to speak when it’s their turn. Interrupting is impatience and is also disrespect. Wait your turn. After all, all good things to those who wait, right?
Finally, never reach for something on the dining table that’s more than an arm’s length. Have them ask the next closest person to hand it over instead. Not only will they learn how to be considerate by not obstructing the personal space of the ones next to them. To add, they will learn how to interact calmly and respectfully with the ones around them at the dining table.