The dinner table is a great place to teach kids without them feeling like it’s just an attachment to the school day. We love to sit around the dinner table and just enjoy time as a family, but if you are purposeful in that time you can also teach kids valuable lessons at the dinnertime.
Here are 4 things you can teach your kids at the dinner table.
Proper place setting – I believe it is important for everyone to know the proper way to set the table and to know what utensils to use when. I like to incorporate new things as the kids get older. When they are little they can learn where the fork, spoon, and glass goes. As they get older, add more things until your teenagers know how to set a proper place setting without having to hit the search engine.
Manners – An important thing for people to learn at the table is proper manners. Please, thank you, please pass the _____, elbows off the table, waiting to speak until one’s mouth is empty, and how to sit in one’s chair properly are all important lessons for children to learn and are easily incorporated at the dinner table.
Dinner talk – This falls in line with manners a bit but I think we have all been at a meal where a dinner guest seemed to have no idea of social etiquette in conversation. It’s okay to teach your kids that some topics do not need discussed at the table and that they should not monopolize conversation.
Nutrition – What better way to discuss our food choices with our children than at dinnertime as we are eating the food? This is a good time to discuss portion sizes and balanced meals as people are being served. I would also note to children that this is not dinner conversation when you are a guest at someone’s home or in a public setting.