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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Children Etiquette For Eating and Good Manners

It is appropriate to post since we are eating a lot today. In trying to figure out the use of fork which I am instructing my children, I went to Etiquette by Emily Post and high lighted a few places. Though, this is from an out dated version, much is still applicable.

Etiquette by Emily Post

I can hear objections to the comparison:

"Training a child is exactly like training a puppy; a little heedless inattention and it is out if hand immediately; the great thing is not to let it acquire bad habits that must afterward be broken. Any child can be taught to be beautifully behaved with no effort greater than quiet patience and perseverance, whereas to break bad habits once they are acquired is a Herculean task. "

My 21 year old hates when his roommates make sounds:

"A very ugly table habit, which seems to be an impulse among all children, is to pile a great quantity of food on a fork and then lick or bite it off piecemeal. This must on no account be permitted. It is perfectly correct, however, to sip a little at a time, of hot liquid from a spoon. In taking any liquid either from a spoon or drinking vessel, no noise must ever be made."

I continually tell my kids to "scoop" and not poke soft food:

"Soft foods, like croquettes, hash on toast, all eggs and vegetables, should be cut or merely broken apart with the edge of the fork held like the knife, after which the fork is turned in the hand to first (or shovel) position."

Poking vs. Scooping (shoveling):

"When no knife is being used, the fork is held in the right hand, whether used "prongs down" to impale the meat or "prongs up" to lift vegetables."

I teach them this too:

"In fact, taking a big mouthful (next to smearing his face and chewing with mouth open) is the worst offense at table."

I couldn't help to laugh at this:

"And do not allow him to construct a tent out of two forks, or an automobile chassis out of tumblers and knives."

Not interrupting Adults:

"When older people are present at table and a child wants to say something, he must be taught to stop eating momentarily and look at his mother, who at the first pause in the conversation will say, "What is it, dear?" And the child then has his say."

Got to teach them to do it on their own:

"To be helped, to be fed, to have their food cut up, all have a stultifying effect upon their development as soon as they have become expert enough to attempt these services for themselves."

Seen this!

"A child who is not allowed to say anything but "No, thank you," at home, will not mortify his mother in public by screaming, "I hate steak, I won't eat potato, I want ice cream!" "


"The child that whines, interrupts, fusses, fidgets, and does nothing that it is told to do, has not the least power of attraction for any one, even though it may have the features of an angel and be dressed like a picture."

Applies to today:

"Not only must children obey, but they must never be allowed to "show off" or become pert, or to contradict or to answer back; and after having been told "no," they must never be allowed by persistent nagging to win "yes." "


It's about parenting:

"A child that loses its temper, that teases, that is petulant and disobedient, and a nuisance to everybody, is merely a victim, poor little thing, of parents who have been too incompetent or negligent to train it to obedience."

This will do with Epi:

"A small girl (or boy) giving a party should receive with her mother at the door and greet all her friends as they come in. If it is her birthday and other children bring her gifts, she must say "Thank you" politely. On no account must she be allowed to tell a child "I hate dolls," if a friend has brought her one."

Hey, I use "ma'am":

" "Yes, sir," "No, sir," "I think so, sir," but ma'am has gone out of style."


"Young girls (and boys of course) should have the manners of a gentleman rather than those of a lady; in that a gentleman always rises, relinquishes the best seat and walks last into a room, whereas these courtesies are shown to, and not observed by ladies (except to other ladies older than themselves)."


"All spitting out of bones and pits into the plate is disgusting."


Eat it once it's in your mouth, like it or not:

"If food has been taken into your mouth, no matter how you hate it, you have got to swallow it."

"It is unforgivable to take anything out of your mouth that has been put in it, except dry bones, and stones."


About not cleaning on a cloth napkin:

"first using a finger bowl, because fruit juices make indelible stains.

Note: We don't use finger bowls

The purpose of manners art the table:

"All rules of table manners are made to avoid ugliness; to let any one see what you have in your mouth is repulsive; to make a noise is to suggest an animal; to make a mess is disgusting."

On using fingers:

"The real objection to eating with the fingers is getting them greasy or sticky, and to suck them or smear one's napkin is equally unsightly."

You can read the whole book here, buy the updated version here or read more by Emily post here.


Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Eating!



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