5 Tips on Introducing Table Manners to Kids

HarperKids
Nov 12, 2018 · 2 min read

We love the fun, silly book How to Eat an Airplane! Sit down to a feast of airplane parts, which will be a big hit with inquisitive kids who love vehicles and machines. Whether it’s a fancy dinner party or everyday dinner with the family, make sure your kids are learning proper table manners! Looking for the best way to teach them? Here are a few tips!

1. Start early.

If your child is eating at the table with you, then it’s time to teach him or her how to behave at the table. The later you start, the more at-risk he or she is of having to find a way to “unlearn” bad habits later on.

2. Be consistent.

Make sure both parents agree on what manners are important. It might seem funny if one parent makes fun of something, but this can undermine the authority of the other parent in the eyes of your child.

3. Agree on the rules as a family and display the list.

If everyone comes together to discuss why the rules are important and they make a list, then the rules are very clear. You’ll still have to remind your child about the rules from time to time, but having discussed the list, it will be seen as fair.

4. Positive reinforcement is key!

Praise your child for what he or she does right more than correct him or her on what he or she has done wrong. (Avoid giving rewards for good behavior or your kids will expect a treat or prize every time they behave instead of learning that good behavior is the standard expectation.)

5. Make sure that you’re modeling good behavior!

This doesn’t just mean that parents need to demonstrate consistent use of “please”s and “thank you”s — it also means that parents shouldn’t be using their phones or getting up to do something. Show your kids that dinner time and manners are important.

Ready for the main course? We recommend picking up How to Eat an Airplane by Peter Pearson with illustrations by Mircea Catusanu!

HarperKids

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Home to many classics of children’s literature like Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, The Giving Tree, Charlotte’s Web, Little House, and Ramona.

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