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Kids' table manners seem to be in short supply, at least with the kids I have seen at school, parties and restaurants. I have made it clear to my kids that table manners are important, make dining more pleasant for everyone, and increase their chances of being invited back again. Here are a few ideas and important table manners that are good to instill in our children.

Sit upright with good posture. Keep chair legs on the floor. Place your napkin on your lap and make sure to use it. Wait until everyone has been served before eating. Pass condiments, salt and pepper around the table as opposed to across it. Ask someone to pass you an item instead of reaching over them. Remember to say "Thank you" when something is passed to you. Say "No thank you" politely if you are offered something you don't like. Do not take huge portions. Don't stuff food into your mouth. Don't talk with food in your mouth. Keep you arms and elbows off the table. You may rest the on the table after the meal is over and dishes have been removed. Don't pick your teeth at the table. If there is food stuck between your teeth, discreetly remove it. Ask to be excused before leaving the table. As a parent, it is wonderful to get positive feedback on how well behaved your children are. Good manners should become second nature to your kids and will serve them well later in life when they go to important functions, dinner meetings or dates. See more parenting tips.

Megan McInnis, aka schoolmom, is an educator and parent that writes about parenting topics and raising healthy and happy kids. For more information visit

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Dining Etiquette and Table Manners  

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