Do you believe in good table manners?

Ireland
January 31, 2007 6:20pm CST
I'm just wondering what sort of table manners we all have (being from different cultures), and do we all teach these to our children? I seem to be forever harping on at my children about basic table manners. I've made a list of them here. Just add to the list as you go along, or comment on what's already there: 1. Chew your food with your mouth closed. Eat quietly. 2. Don't stuff your mouth 3. Don't talk with your mouth full 4. Eat slowly. No one is going to steal your food. 5. Don't stretch for something. Ask for it to be passed. 6. Don't grab 7. Say please and thank you. 8. No elbows on the table while eating 9. When finished place knife and fork at 6.30 position 10. Do not slurp your drink 11. Excuse yourself from the table when you wish to leave 12. Don't burp or belch. If you must, then try to keep it quiet and use a napkin. 13. Don't comment on the food if you don't like it. Just push it to one side and leave it there.
29 people like this
116 responses
• Canada
1 Feb 07
I feel like I am always on my kids case about those rules too. It drives me nuts when they have their head resting on their arm, with elbow on the table ... like they are just too exhausted to eat ... to me its so rude. And the chewing with the mouth open and tlaking with the mouth full...I think I have said that seven thousand times in 2007. I feel bad for always being on their case though.
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
I know it feels terrible to be constantly on their case, but it has to be done, doesn't it? I mean, otherwise the sight of them, and the noise......yeuch!
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
1 Feb 07
My ten year old is constantly talking with her mouth full. It drives me nuts and I am always harping on her about that, and about the way she squirms in her chair. She'll lie down on her chair and hang over the side, or partially sit and stand. Elbows on the table is also one I've been getting on their case about. What's funny is the things I say to my kids that my father said to me. One he always got on us about was leaning back in the chair, like on the two hind legs. That was a definite no-no, and still is for me. My father also made a big deal about us brushing our hair and washing our hands before we came to the table. I make sure my kids wash their hands, but don't worry so much about the hair. Also, no hats on at the table, and no bare-chested father (put your shirt on please). I do have to give my kids kudos for one thing. They always say thank you to me when we sit down to eat. They thank me for the dinner and then DH does. They did this when they were staying over at my cousin's when my brother passed away. My girls said 'thank you' when she placed their dinner down in front of them and she was shocked. She was, like, "What for?" My kids may not have the best table manners but they are very polite.
2 people like this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
I hope my kids are as polite as that when they visit other peoples' houses. I always ask them if they said please and thank you and they always tell me they do. They sometimes forget to say thank you to me after dinner and I have to remind them. And today my teenage daughter actually told me that the dinner I cooked was "nice". I nearly had to be recussitated from the shock.
• Melbourne, Florida
1 Feb 07
The only rules I strictly enforce is 1. Chew with your mouth closed. 2. Don't talk with your mouth full of food. 3. Put your dishes in the sink when you are done.
2 people like this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Oh I hate if anybody gets up from the table and leaves their diry plates after them. It drives me apesh*T!!
• United States
1 Feb 07
I definately believe in teaching my kids good table manners. Sometimes they don't always follow them, but they are kids...I always give a little bit of leway, but not much...especially when we are at a restaurant or something. Talking with mouth full or chewing with open mouth are two things I hate! I have to say that the elbows on the table are hard for me since I catch myself with mine on the tables a lot. LOL I like your list...very nice.
2 people like this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Thank you. It's ok to have your elbows on the table if you've finished eating. When you're eating you're permitted to have your forearms resting against the table. :)
• Canada
1 Feb 07
Wow I wouldn't be able to remember all those rules . But I suppose if you grew up with it like this you would not find it so hard to remember . Your way is probably much better then ours as we rarely sit down to eat as a family . Christmas and a couple of times throughout the year would be the extent to it . We all generally get something when we are hungry and when we do we make up a plate for the little one's . No one even eats the same thing so it makes mealtime and endless chore .
2 people like this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
We don't get to sit down that often either. Just weekends and special occasions. But when we sit down I do try to teach the kids their manners.
@mrstigs (63)
• United States
1 Feb 07
My husband has a huge peeve about people who talk with food in their mouth. Its amazing how many people will do it. Even if you cover your mouth with a napkin its still disgusting. Take a few minutes to chew your food and you can also take a moment to think about what to say. Another one we are constantly working on with his son when he is here to visit is eat with both your feet on the floor. He likes to put a foot up on his chair or sit with his feet tucked under him. That and not leaning back in his chair. Some others are wait for everyone to be served before you start eating unless your hostess specifically tells you to not wait for someone. Wait for everyone to be finished eating before you leave the table unless there is a very valid reason for you to leave. In that same thought, children should ask permission to leave the table.
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
I don't push the one where everyone should be finished eating before one leaves the table, except at weekends. But, eating at the table is very much come and go for us during the week. You might sit down at the table with someone, but you mightn't have the same person sitting there when you're finished. LOL!
@greengal (4286)
• United States
1 Feb 07
You've pretty much summed up everything Bittybiddy..I learnt all these back in school..I studied in a residential school which was first started by the British when they were in India. I'm thankful for all that I learnt there. I want to add one more thing, which one of my teachers pointed out to me eveytime we ate..to start eating from the point closest to you i.e. to start with the food closest to you on the plate. I have no idea why we had to do that but my teacher would glare at me if I began eating from the middle or the farther end!!We were seated in a table of 8 and the head of the tabel (usually a senior..as in grade/standard terms)served each one of us and passed the plate. Once we were done, oner person collected the plates and cutlery and cleared the table. But back then we had to finish everything on our plates, no wasting. This rule, my uncle and his family follow even today. No matter what is served it has to be finished, if you don't want it say so earlier.
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
I remember hearing the rule about eating the food closest to you on the plate too. Maybe that's where I got the habit, when I'm at home, of twirling my plate around until the bit I'm interested in is nearest me. :) I always finish everything on my plate. I was told once that you should always leave a small bit, to let the chef know that you've had more than enough. In today's world of portion control I'm not sure that this is the done thing any more, or if ever it was anyway.
@dulin08 (23)
• United States
1 Feb 07
BittyBiddy, I totally agree with what you are doing. I have six kids and have worked with children most of my life. I think it boils down to respect. Respect for themselves and others. You can have the sweetest, smartest child, but if they eat like an animal, people will have a hard time being around them. If the way they eat and conduct themselves at a table interfers with other people enjoying thier meal, it is just plain rude. Keep up the good work, I think long ago parents cared a little more about how their children presented themselves, now parents are happy if their kid just doesn't end up in a detention center.
2 people like this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Thank you! I care very much about peoples' table manners. I remember going out with a guy on a date once. We went to a Chinese. I ended up with rice all down my front. Not my rice.......HIS. Whenever he spoke he spat a mouthful of rice out at the same time. Yeuccchh!!
@denden (803)
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
i do believe in good table manners because food is a blessing from God so we should respect it or use it a nice way. because with food we can live longer here in the world. if no food we will die or we will got sick.what do you think?
• United States
1 Feb 07
I was always taught everything except the fork and knife at 6:30
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Well toonafeesh, now you've learnt something new. :) The reason you leave the knife and fork at 6.30 is so that the waiter will know that you've finished eating.
@jossml (464)
• Puerto Rico
1 Feb 07
Yes, I am having a difficult time teaching my son good table manners, he needs to improve a lot of things.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
I have taught my children good table manners,but sometimes I tease them and play the see food game lol bad mommy lol
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
What's the seefood game Justme?
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
1 Feb 07
These are about the same as what I was taught by my parents and not to feed the animals...other than that, you could very well be my mum....hahahahahah
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Well we don't have any animals under out kitchen table, otherwise I'd be telling them that too.
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
I don't mean I'd be telling the animals to mind their table manners. I mean I'd be telling my kids not to feed the animals under the table.
@katweena (84)
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
Yes, I certainly belive in good table manners. I think it's rude to pick your teeth in front of the dining table. Following good table manners is a sign of politeness. For the guys, having good table manners is definitely appealing to girls.
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Yes, that's another of my pet hates. People who pick their teeth in front of you. Well, I don't mind if it's an informal family meal, but when I'm out with friends I don't like to see this.
• Canada
1 Feb 07
sometimes seeing someone with bad table matters can really make you lose your appetite. for example farting or burping at the table grasses me out. i also knew these people who babied their child and encouraged them to eat like a little baby cause they thought it was cute. the child was eight years old. he was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwitch and smeared it all over his face. and tried to pick it up with his mouth off of the plate on the table. and his parents said he was so cute. that's terrible manners and it really bothered me to watch that.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
I agree with you. That's disgusting. I feel sorry for a child who has such pathetic parents as that.
@lifeiseasy (2292)
• United States
1 Feb 07
These are all great manners to teach our children ...I have to tell you a little story a few days ago I was telling my 2 year old to "chew with your mouth closed " and she would keep closing her eyes ...lol ..she knows the difference but she would get confused when I was trying to make her do it ...I was just one of those cute little things kids do ...
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
LOL! Aw, that's so cute. I love when kids do funny things like that. :)
@crosa125 (1484)
1 Feb 07
when i came to uk i was worried which fork is for what,i went to a party,they give me kabab in a tray, no fork nothing,and every one start eating it,i said i need to go to loo,they made joke sayin why do need to go to toilet before i eat,hey no one washed even their had.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
Well, some parties are casual affairs. We have casual parties here too in our home, but when we're having dinner (or candlelight suppers) then it's etiquette all the way.
@babystar1 (4236)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Yes I do believe in good table manners, I was taught by my parents to always have good manners. I taught all my children to have good table manners, now they teach there children.
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
That's good. I'm delighted to hear it.
• United States
1 Feb 07
Yea BB!!! I have been trying to get my five year old grandson to change is table manners. He chews like a pig at the trough. I even show him what he looks like. He stops for a minute and goes right back. It really makes me mad. My kids grew up with excellent table manners.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
My kids think it's so funny too when I show them what they look like when they speak with their mouths full. I just can't seem to get them to close their mouths while they chew either. I say to them "Is that nice", and they say "yes", and I say "Wow, cos it sounds disgusting".
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
You remind me of my mum, BittyBiddy. Every day at mealtime we were lectured on one or all of the above. We may even have got the odd clip in the ear if we didn't listen. There were some occasions when we were made to leave the table because we were being rude. However, my mum always warmed our dinner up later and allow us to have it on our own. I considered this to be a treat rather than a punishment. I think the worse offence is talking with ones mouth full. I usually comment, 'Just say, don't spray it'.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
:) Sometimes you remind me of my mum too Alexandria.
@shemb1 (465)
• Sri Lanka
1 Feb 07
I think this is really good meaningfull habbit. you have mentioned really good habbits. the table manners is must learning stuff and this is highly use in sol life. if we talk about table manners, i bet lots of reules include for this manners and it has some principals too.
@paule4129 (968)
• United States
1 Feb 07
great disscusion i think alot of people could use lessons /really in public places where we share the room with some real pigs...
1 person likes this