Folks, our girls have bad table manners. I am really ashamed to admit that. They do pretty well with other manners, such as saying "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me." But table manners? Well, they are what you would call....lacking.
Regularly at our table someone:
1. breaks into song
2. talks or laughs with food in their mouth
3. uses their hands to eat that which is not considered finger food (such as mashed potatoes!)
4. slumps down in their chair and drags the food to their mouth via the huge gap between themselves and the table, showering crumbs onto the table and into their lap
Now, I know it could be worse. But I really want children who I can take out in public. And, I would like to sweep the kitchen floor less. One of the things my husband is looking forward to about me being home is the expected improvement in table manners. We try to model these things, but I'm not sure the lessons are sinking in. I plan to take a more direct approach called: Mommy will now give you a lesson in good manners at the table. It can be part of our homeschool curriculum. I'm serious about that.
We told the girls that we were going to work on manners this summer. If they learned to use good manners at the table, at the end of the summer we promised we would take them "somewhere fancy" to eat.
"Like Luby's?" Sweetheart wanted to know.
I'm thinking it's time to broaden their horizons just a bit. But honestly, I would settle for good manners at Luby's. That is just about as fancy as we get, after all.
Time to stop listening to the "they're just kids" lie and get busy! We will now raise our expectations at the table. Do you find yourself comparing your children to other people's kids in order to gauge where yours stand? Yeah, me too. But this time I am going to pray about it, make a decision about what we want to expect at their different ages--and go from there. I just think we expect far too little of our children these days. And they are capable of much, much more.
Oh, and NOT eating 2 meals a day at daycare with 25 other children their age should help, too.