Saturday, May 15, 2010

Table manners

I think all parents have that one "thing" they don't compromise on, for me it is table manners. I teach my children table manners from the time they start eating solid foods. I've always had a thing for table manners. I remember asking my siblings to chew with their mouths closed at the dinner table and reprimanding my friends in school for not using a napkin. Trinity had impeccable table manners for so long because I teach by example and LOTS of repeating the rules. Now, I'm not talking using different forks for different courses, I'm talking the basics - don't talk with food in your mouth, use a napkin, use your silverware, etc.

Notice I said 'had', yep kindergarten has ruined my child's table manners. During lunch, the teachers sit at a table separate from the students & the students are left to their own devices for 30 minutes with no guidance. In our school, the parents volunteer to serve lunch, so I've been witness to the lunch room chaos. When I would serve after all the kids were seated I would go sit with Trinity. And I would promptly lose my appetite. Do kids eat like this at home? Ew! I had little girls showing me their food after it was half chewed. I saw little boys eating mashed potatoes with their hands. I saw kids wiping their hands on their shirts. And now guess what my child is doing? It seems that she has forgotten everything I've spent the last 6 years teaching her in favor of the teachings of her peers. So, I've gotten tough and this summer I'm going to get tougher. I will no longer tolerate horrible table manners. Some things, like elbows on the table, get a verbal warning, but if you chew with your mouth open so I can see the half masticated cow in your mouth, you will be excused from my table and asked to eat at the bar in the kitchen. I want to enjoy my dinner as much as the next person and I can't do that if you are talking with food in your mouth. So, dearest child of mine, be prepared for a rude awakening starting in June.

And of course, all my hard work will go straight out the window next fall I am sure.

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