Basics of Table Manners – A Series on Good Manners 3

Good manners are expected to be seen in all areas of or lives. As discussed in our previous posts on Good Manners, it all starts with having respect for others.

Training our kids to demonstrate good Table Manners, therefore, stems from having respect for and showing respect to others. This post is not to teach Dining etiquette, there are several good books that can help teach your child about formal dining and what to expect. Rather, it is to highlight the basics in having good Table Manners.

In teaching good manners at the Table, a child should be taught the following:

  • Showing Gratitude. Saying Please and thank you form the bedrock of good manners in general, and table manners are no exception to the rule. Often I have tried to teach my children to appreciate whatever they are served first even if they don’t like the dish. Appreciate whoever is serving the food for their efforts at preparing the dish. Also, learning to say please if you want something done for you at the dinner table is crucial, it shows respect for others and consideration for their feelings.
  • Chatting at the table should be kept to a minimum, and no speaking with food in the mouth


  • No chomping on food, chewing should be done quietly, not with all sorts of sounds.
  • Teach your child basic placement of the plates and silverware. Mom, if you don’t know, please get a good resource material to help you model it appropriately for your child. Also, how to hold the cutlery and eat with it properly should be taught early enough. This will help to boost the confidence of your child if he finds himself in such an environment as it may be required of him.

When it comes to having good table manners, consideration for others should be the underlying factor motivating a child to do the right thing.

I hope that in teaching our kids the right thing to do, we are also taking the opportunity to brush up on our own dining skills. it’s an investment with great rewards.

Oluseye Ashiru

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