Elbows Off The Table Manners

My favorite scene in the movie cheaper by the dozen is the crazy breakfast scene where the missing frog reappears and creates complete mayhem.

This scene reminds me of the continued need for table manner training in my home.

I admit my children are not perfectly mannered at the dinner table and

I’m sure if you were a mouse hiding in my kitchen you would hear many elbows off the table reminders during our family meal time – ” Sit up” , “chew with your mouth closed” , ” Stop making those noises”, ” wait your turn to talk”, ” Stay seated” and the list goes on. I remind myself that one day the training will pay off and there will be far less reminders during our family meal time. But, for now I am just trying to keep the scene in Cheaper by the dozen from breaking out in my home.

Here are the guidelines for table manner training that the Novotny family is working on: ( notice I said working on)

Manner training MUSTS for Parent :

1. Teach by example – be the manner model.


2. Be patient – it takes time to teach manners.


3. Eat meals together as a family – great place to learn and practice manners added bonus it creates family bonding.


4. Choose 2 – 3 manners at a time to work on.


Rules for Elbows off the table:


1. Wash hands and face prior to coming to the table.


2. Place Napkin on your lap.


3. Bow your head and close your eyes during prayer ( grace).


4. Do not begin eating until given the OK to start by adult.



5. Remain at the table until excused.


6. Keep elbows and other body parts off the table while eating .


7. Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk until your mouth is empty.


8. If you don’t like the food you have been served do not make comments about it.


9. No reaching across the table, instead ask by saying “please pass the……”.



10. Enter into the conversation with those at the table.


11. No burping, slurping or other inappropriate sounds at the table.


12. Ask permission to be excused from table when finished.


13. Tell whom ever provided the meal Thank You.


14. Offer to help with after meal clean-up.

Your Turn: What are your Table manner rules or training methods?

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3 Responses

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  2. As the mom of a kid who more resembles a hungry dog than a well mannered child, these guidelines are great! I think I might have to print them out. Thanks!

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