Teaching Toddlers Table Manners

Teaching Toddlers Table Manners

The best age for your kid to start learning about table manners is when they are a toddler,. At this age they are able to master skills and learn information pretty quick. Additionally what they learn at this age will influence them largely for the rest of their life. This article will help you understand all about table manners and how to teach it to your kid.

what they learn at this age will influence them largely for the rest of their life

Must every kid learn good table manners?

Must every kid learn good manners?

Absolutely! Every kids needs to be taught etiquette and manners this early it sets the pace for how they will lie the rest of their lives. The good habits that you impart on your kids at a tender age will help them learn how to behave both in public and private settings. Keep in mind that table manners are not an overnight fix, they are built over time. Your duty as a parent is to ensure that good table manners are entrenched in their daily life, this way it comes naturally to them and they don’t feel coerced.

Here are basics to start with:

  • What is the difference between a knife and fork?
  • Eating without slurping soup
  • No scraping or banging plates
  • No talking on a full mouth
  • Wash hands before and after eating
  • Helping to set and clear the table
  • No hitting, throwing, spitting, flicking, grabbing and any other unnecessary bad manners

Establishing Family Rules at the Dinner Table

kids learning how to eat dinner table

The best way to teach kids table manners is by establishing clear family rules that must be followed at all times. Kids have a hard time learning in isolation, the best way for a kid to form and stick to new habits is by practising together with the people around them. While every family is different, here are some basics that work for everyone:

  • No elbows on top of the table
  • Thank you, Excuse me and Please when talking at the table
  • Help to set and clear the table
  • Stay at the dinner table until everyone is done

As long as the basics are met, you can customise the manners and etiquette to suit your family’s wants and needs. While it is pretty easy for kids to follow etiquette and manners, the hardest part is having the persistence and patience to follow through every time.

How to overcome bad table manners

How to overcome bad table manners

Every parent knows that learning a new skill and mastering it is challenging for all kids especially toddlers. The best way to help your child overcome bad table manners is leading by example. Kids do what they see. It is easier for them to overcome bad manners if they are surrounded by people who generally behave well. Kids will emulate the people they love and admire. It is unfair and extremely unreasonable to force your child into habits that you yourself do not abide by. Toddlers are particularly notorious for emulating what other around them do

How to deal with a misbehaving toddler at the dinner table

How to deal with a misbehaving toddler at the dinner table

Contrary to common misconception, silence is not the best way to deal with a kid’s inappropriate behavior at the dinner table. The best way to deal with bad manners is to be the example and correct any negative behavior immediately you notice it. For instance, if a kid is eating with their mouth open, correct them immediately by showing them how to chew the right way. Since you want to keep the atmosphere at the dinner table calm and relaxed, it is important to gentle but firm.


Have you ever come across an adult with bad table manners? It is gross, annoying, frustrating and extremely embarrassing. By teaching your kid good table manners while they are still toddlers, you are instilling skills that they will use for the rest of their life.

Mandy Wright
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