Sit up straight! Don't talk with your mouth full! And, other useless junk....

United States
August 25, 2007 8:50pm CST
When I was a kid, my mom had lots of rules, especially at dinner time. Although she didn't insist that noone put their elbows on the table, she was very picky about people putting too much food into their mouth, especially when company was around. Once when we were at a restaurant on a Sunday with friends, she pinched my leg really hard under the table and hissed, "Don't put so much into your mouth!" This was not a light pinch either. At that point, I am sure that I could have spit out the contents of my mouth onto my plate and I'm sure that would have gotten me another hard pinch, but at least it would have been one of those proud kid moments that makes all kinds of reprisals worth it! As that kid on the Simpsons is known for saying, "Ha, Ha! Totally worth it!" I mean, I can understand the concept of not wanting your kid to choke on her food, but I am positive that I wouldn't pinch my child just to make my point. Very extreme! So, what are some stupid things that your mom tried to teach you about dinner time? And, I mean odd things too, not just the normal stuff.
1 person likes this
9 responses
• Philippines
26 Aug 07
I don't think my mom every thought me stupid stuff, unless when we're goofing around. Table manners are important. And it is a sign of respect towards people you are dining with.
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18304)
26 Aug 07
I certainly agree that manners are important but some of the things we say as parents do take some thinking through
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Aug 07
Thanks! That was my very point. A simple whisper, "Not so much in your mouth!" would have been more preferrable than a pinch that left a big fat black bruise on my leg. Hey I was eight years old, and it didn't feel like a big bite of food to me. How was I supposed to know. Manners are all well and good, but the child is foremost. Why treat your own child like trash just to instill good manners into them. Humans first, then rules and manners. Rules are meant to serve humans, not be their masters.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
26 Aug 07
Not to be a stick in the mud, but I don't think those are such useless rules. Luckily I didn't get any hard pinches, but I remember being taught basic manners. I was taught by my mother, grandmother, my best friends mom and a neighbor. It's funny, but I remember mostly learning from my best friends mother. I think that's because as best friends, we used to dine at eachothers house quite often. She didn't directly teach me, she was teaching her own kids, but as a guest, of course, I wanted to follow her rules, so that they'd invite me back. I think because I wasn't in my own home I was naturally being more careful. My friends mom didn't like elbows on the table. I remember that one clearly. I still try to be carefuly of that, but I'm not too careful. I wish I had been half as effective teaching my own children table manners as she was with me. They are at an age where they should know very well how to eat in public. Unfortunately, I'm still having a problem with them. My daughter is reaching an age where she will soon be allowed to go out without adult supervision. I keep telling her that if she can't behave properly with me around, how can I expect to send her off without an adult? Anyway...sorry that I didn't answer your question the way you probably wanted.
@Riptide (2762)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I was taught appropriate table manners the moment I could hold silver ware on my own. I don't think it's useless to teach table manners to children. The approach your mother took might have been a bit harsh but would you have rather not learned table manners and then go and embarass yourself on your first date when a boy takes you out to dinner? I think this day and age manners are under rated and it seems nobody is learning them anymore.
• United States
26 Aug 07
Hindsight being twenty/twenty, I should have done just that!
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
27 Aug 07
Ouch—I wouldn’t pinch my child either- I’m constantly telling her to not talk with your mouth full—or chew with your mouth closed—But that is for choking- : ) I wouldn’t pinch her to tell her- I think it would have been great had you spit it all out- all over! My mom and dad were cool- we got the normal manners—when I went to my aunts house – I always got the don’t plop in the chairs (like I did- all 10 year olds are graceful) and don’t chomp your food- I didn’t do this either- I could not stand to go there-
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
26 Aug 07
When I was growing up, manners were stressed on nearly all fronts. My grandmothers, my mom, school, church and the scouts. Everyone had their different reasoning. My mom: it's more polite. School: it's healthier. Scouts: it's a matter of pride and self-respect. My grandmothers: Because I said so! I think they all had legitimate points. As a mother and grandmother, I stress the health and etiquette issues with my kids. My husband has to take antiacids every night, no matter what he eats. I tell him it is because he slouches at the table, eats too fast and doesn't chew his food well...but then, I've seen his parents eat! My mother also had a thing about fussing, arguing and saying negative things while you were eating but also in the kitchen while she was cooking. She said that all that negative energy would give you gas and one day turn into cancer! Extreme maybe, but I feel the same way today - I wouldn't ever pinch my kids though. I'm the "evil eye" type, works every time down through the generations! lol
@violeta_va (4842)
• Australia
26 Aug 07
Before I was a parent I use to think to my self "oh my god there she goes again is she nuts" for every rule or saying that she said. Now that I am a mother I know where my parents were coming from. If I let my son do what he likes he would eat sweets all day long (forget about cooked meal) he would eat on the floor like a cave man and eat with his hands. But because I dont he gets a knife and fork before he sits to eat (mind you he could be eating apple). My parents always said close your mouth when you eat and I hate to this day when people chew with their mouth open it makes me sick. we didnt have to ask permision to get up but we had to have family meal all of us together and I love that to this day we had the chance to talk to each other and tell jokes and it was a big deal every day that we didnt want to live the table.
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I guess the worst thing is when someone would ask me something and when I'd go to answer the same person would say You shouldn't talk with food in your mouth :o) Talk about redundant. HAVE A GOOD DAY!! AT PEACE WITHIN
@andrejuly84 (1047)
• Romania
26 Aug 07
well,i got a grandma that had a lot of rules for me to follow.don't know if they were stupid but they were certainly very unpleasant for me.she didn't let me to get much food in the mouth,she didn't let me wear clothes in funny colours like pink,shinny yellow,shiny green or orange,neither red.she was so strictely with the clothes i wear.and she has this custom even today when i am 23.she can't stop reproaching me i wear clothes not suitable to a serious person.i hate this!
@sandwedge (1341)
• Malaysia
26 Aug 07
some lessons parents passed on to their kids are not actually "useless". actually, as you grow up, you decide what is useless or not in your life. i know mothers who discipline their children to stop putting too much food into their mouth maybe is embarrassed when they see their kid eating with other kids and stuffing as much food as they can into their mouth like they have not eaten for ages. later in life, imagine if the kid, now a man/woman still have the habit of stuffing a lot of food into his/her mouth and eating at the company president's table...looking like a hamster. sitting up straight. i do not think thats "useless junk". ever see a person slouching at the table. its not a nice site especially he/her is trying to score a 14million dollar contract with the client. image is everything in business. we don't want our children to be than slouching person pushing a cart of recycle material down the street.