Thursday, August 7, 2008

Table Etiquette

Well, I did something novel today. After a huge milk spill at breakfast (which is pretty much routine at our house), I decided to teach the boys about "rules at the table" from all over the world. I explained how there are different rules for different parts of the world, but some rules at the table are the same all throughout the world. For example, elbows on the table are rude in the United States. In France, you need to keep your hands above the table at all times. Then I explained that it is rude to talk with your mouth full. I asked them if they knew why and they said no. Then I shoved a bunch of food in my mouth, chewed it up a little, and then started talking (while purposefully letting a little fall out). They, of course, likened it to an episode of Spongebob where someone sticks his tongue out with food all over it (I have put a hiatus on Spongebob because of the constant quoting!). But in this case it helped, because it is gross even in the Spongebob episode. Then I explained how we say "please pass the food" instead of just reaching for it. And how we carry on polite conversation instead of fighting. And how we use our utensils isntead of fingers because using fingers is rude (I didn't explain that some places in the world use their fingers. That would get just plain confusing.) The entire rest of the meal was pleasant! Who knew that explaining "the rules" would contribute to more accomodating boys? I will remember this for next time...

1 comment:

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

This past summer I have really found that explaining the rules helps so much. In fact I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Now you know the rules. Next time you'll be in trouble." It's really helped to not get angry and just explain what they shouldn't be doing. It has amazed me, too!