Sunday, November 29, 2009
No, this is NOT what our "Manners Table" looked like...it is just a picture I had...:)for those of you who need a picture to look at!
I know I write a lot about my family and our children when they were little, but my husband and I made a real effort to do some things a certain way when raising our children...and we are truly reaping the benefits now as they are both teenagers! We wanted our children to contribute to the family...not only as an act of "helping out", but as they grew up in our home we wanted them to feel the importance of their role in our family. Trust me, there have been times and there ARE times when it would be so much easier and LESS exhausting to have everybody get their own food, use paper plates and heat prepared food in the microwave...and there is a place for that. However, it is so rewarding to work together in preparing meals together, setting the table, clearing the table, and cleaning up afterwards. It creates a bond. We will chat about that another day.
Now that we are off the bunny trail, back to the SUBJECT!
We always wanted our children to help with meal preparation. There were times I had to remind myself why. Some days I just did not have the patience to repeat myself over and over again as to what needed to go on the table etc., but I knew that I wanted my children to be able to be nurtured by me, yet independent enough to know how to function in the REAL world...as they grew up.
Parents! Take advantage of your children wanting to help when they are little. It is going to be TOO late to start when they are teenagers!
OKAY, maybe we are the only family in the world that had this littttttle problem, but EVERY time we went out to dinner, it seemed like our children just lost all sense of what it meant to behave at the dinner table. You know you have a problem, when you are ignoring ALL invitations to have dinner with friends and family. The one exception being it is a picnic invitation when the children just nibble on finger foods and would rather play than eat! And there is NO way that someone is going to take you aside to offer a "tiny bit" of parenting advice!
SOOOO, my BRILLIANT hubby, the father of my two darlings, came up with an amazing idea. We were only going to eat AT the kitchen table until there was a major improvement in table manners. That was fine with me, because I am pretty sure that whoever put carpeting in our dining room was completely INSANE! Well, maybe they just didn't have a toddler in a highchair!
Scott's plan was great. We ate in the kitchen and would work on a manner. Once both children had it down, we would set the Manner's table, which was always so exciting for them. We would pretend like we were at a restaurant or at somebody's house and we would use the manner we had learned. We eventually got through MANNERS 101. It also just so happened that whenever we had company we would HAVE to use the Table because it was so much bigger than our kitchen table...needless to say it worked like a charm. Not only did we have better behaved children, but who knew you could have so much fun with a "MANNERS TABLE"!
*Idea shared with: raising homemakers