Sunday, August 06, 2006

Miss Manners and the Dinner Time Dilemma

Just got done feeding the family.

As usual... Dinner was prepared and plated to each child's specifications. Husband made his plate. By the time I had my plate ready, the kids were asking for seconds. Dish that up, get my plate to the table. A napkin, a dropped spoon, and a spilled cup of juice later...

Two of the kids were done with dinner and I hadn't taken a bite yet.

I know and understand basic mealtime manners. Somewhere in the shuffle, we haven't yet worked on the rudimentary rules.

It's starting now. I'm tired of feeling like Flo. Tired of the quick gulping of dinner and off the the next adventure. Tired of the TV on, albiet low, in the other room. Tired of not conversing and sharing.

I'm making a brief list to work on for the next few days. More will be added as the kids master these four skills:

1. Eat together as a family.
2. Wait for everyone to be seated before eating.
3. Ask "May I be excused?" if you'd like to leave before everyone else is done.
4. No "Can I" or other questions until everyone's done eating.

I have them printed up. Tomorrow before dinner, I'll go through them with the kids. Show them to my husband as well. Teaching begins at home.

Until then, "Kiss my grits!"


Builder Mama said...

Doesn't that make you crazy? Nothing better than finally getting to sit down to a lovely somewhat lukewarm dinner while everyone else is hollering for seconds.

For a while now I've been plating the food at the stove and serving everyone at once. Of course, I'm not feeding the crowd that you are, but it has helped alleviate the whole asking for seconds before I've even sat down.

Now, if we could get past texture issues and his tendency to spit food he thinks is icky back out, I'd be a happy camper. He does do it into a napkin, but the ick factor is pretty high anyway.

Can't wait for the update!

Tree said...

Great suggestions, G!

Can I suggest one more? Take dinner plate to kitchen sink when leave table - if you do not already do so.

Gretchen said...

Thanks T - usually they just put the paper plate in the trash and the silverware and cup in the sink.

Builder - as far as the 'yuck' factor. I'm working on 'no thank you.'

schloobie said...

Bryan is HUGE about sitting through meals together so Declan CANNOT get up till we are done, unless it's special occasion. Special occasion usually means there is another kid in attendance and we all know how hard it is to keep 2 of them down. Good luck with 3. ;)

Also, it's one of my pet peeves to have kids say "yuck" to meals. I have told Declan that he will not show disrespect for the person who bothered to throw together his meal. He must taste everything, but in deference to my mother's "eat everything on your plate and grow to be as big as a horse" philosophy... he can chose to not eat any more of something he dislikes and politely say, "I don't care for that" or "that's not my favorite."