Can you please stop pointing your gun at me? (straw turned into a gun)
Why is your face inside your bowl?
Corn does not go inside your nose!
Farting at the table is not okay.
Why are your LEGO toys at the table again?
You’d think they’d get the point after the gazillionth time they’ve heard these things. My boys have shoved food amongst other things into their body parts (mouth not included) that I didn’t know could fit in those tiny holes. Needless, to say meal time can be chaotic and the younger they are it’s all but peaceful.
Don’t worry you’re not alone and remember most of the time they don’t even realize they are doing it–so they need us to encourage them on to better manners.
Teaching Boys Table Manners
Last year, I decided not to let meal time stress me out. How did I do that? Well, I implemented our “Pigging Out” game and it’s worked marvelously well until I was the only one getting all the piggies, lol. Actually, it’s my husband who gets all the piggies but shhh don’t tell him I told you.
You can read more about our game here: A Fun Way to Teach Table Manners to Kids. This game was a life saver and took the stress that I felt being the only one implementing our table manners. We’ve been doing this for over 6 months and our piggies are all tattered and worn to prove they;ve gotten used. Though I must say after a month into it they didn’t get used at all and then we were back to using them at every meal. Such is the life of learning and growing in a new area.
When we first started implementing our table manners game I posted this little printable (click here to download and print): table manners game or this one Table Manners Printable on our dining room wall. I had one of our kids read it before our dinner meal, just to remind them what we expected. After a month into it we took it off, but I’m now having to put it back up again. One of my boys struggles with hunching over his food, so much so, his face is almost a few inches away from his plate throughout the whole meal. It looks as though he’s guarding his plate with his whole body. So I’ll have him tell me from the Table Manners Poster on our wall what it is he needs to work on at this meal, so he can remind himself.
So, my one tip on teaching boys table manners is– BE SPECIFIC. I can’t just tell my boys “use your table manners”, I have to be specific. Otherwise, they assume they are using table manners just because they used their napkin, meanwhile, they are also picking their nose. For the most part boys do not respond to subtle hints, they need you to be specific.
In all of this, my goal is to plant seeds in hopes that they will catch on and adopt this for themselves.
What have you tried to help your boys or girls to have better table manners?
Also, the following has worked wonderfully in our family–just click on the images.