table manners being taught

table manners being taught

Our children are all grown up now and can no longer hold us responsible for their behaviour as they have been old enough long enough to alter it if they want to. Otherwise one sees 30 year olds saying “It was all my parents’ fault” and that doesn’t wash with me. Yes of course parenting is hugely influential, and one would hope would ingrain good habits and ways of coping, but if you get to 15 and realise I’m a bit of a shit, I’d better do something about it, then you can. Or you might realise that it’s all very well your parents having a laissez faire attitude to school attendance, but it actually matters and I’d better go.

Plenty of great kids come from atrocious backgrounds. And similarly some real twats come from loving supportive homes. So it’s not all clearcut by any means.  But for me there are some real basic behaviours that I just don’t understand why some parents don’t teach their children (unless they are so inadequate they can’t and in which case I question whether they should be allowed to keep them…).

I just don’t understand parents who think bad manners are a form of self-expression or that “She gets so upset when I get cross” or “He’s in a bit of an awkward phase at the moment” means they can be let off the hook for refusing to come to eat at the table. That’s not to say ours got it right all the time. But I’m hoping the basics were drilled in to place.

So these are my

Top Ten Tips for Toddlers Upwards.

  1. Always say please and thank you. Including when you get out of the car.
  2. Always acknowledge people. It only needs to be Hello. Whether in the street or in the sitting room.Whether they are the Queen or the cleaner.
  3. Look people in the eye when you acknowledge them
  4. Always say goodbye when you leave.
  5. Sit at the table to eat and stay there until told you can get down. Ask “Please may I leave the table ?” if you want to get down before you are told to.
  6. Say “Thank you for having me” especially to friends parents when you are there after school.
  7. Thank people for presents. Preferably by letter.
  8. Don’t interrupt. If you need to say something and grown ups are speaking start it with Excuse me.
  9. Eat everything a friend’s parent gives you for tea. Preferably with a smile.
  10. Join in at parties and don’t sulk if you don’t win.
  11. Never ask to go home or pull at your parent when they are chatting to someone.
  12. Own up and say sorry loud and clear when you’ve done something wrong.
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