In this day and age, the term "table manners" may be an outdated term, but manners should not be a trend but a best practice that your little one should diligently follow. As molding kids starts from womb to tomb, it is important for parents to tackle all aspects of parenting. Family meals are vital to childhood development. Not only does it strengthen bond, but it also encourages regular communication with children.
It has also been proven that teaching kids table manners can increase your child's self-esteem, foster healthy relationships, promote positive behaviour and more. When building good manners, parents need to have patience so as to build a solid and consistent foundation. Here are 5 tips to introduce table manners to your kids.
Toddlers may be too young to learn table manners, but there are age-appropriate ways you can introduce which can be done when your little one is using a highchair. The highchair sends a message to your child that there is a proper time and place for eating. It takes place when they are sitting down.
Introduce the proper way of using spoons, cups and plates
What better way to teach your child to feed themselves than doing it at an early age. So encouraging kids to use a spoon when eating purees or yogurt will come a long way. Your child can master their spoon skills in as early as 15 months.
Create a positive environment
Your feeding environment dictates your child's behavior towards food. Kids have to enjoy food and this will only be positive if they are taught that mealtimes are positive. They should develop the urge to take more bites because they are forced to do so.
Most kids this age will have the tendency to turn their heads away as a sign of food dislike. They will also hold food inside their mouth or spit the food out. Either way, this behavior should be corrected at an early age.
Teach them to be grateful
While table manners are all about proper eating behavior, it should not be limited to learning how to use a spoon and fork properly. Teaching kids to say "please" and "thank you" is also part of the process. Lead by example because when you role model good table manners, your little one will also follow what they have observed.
Remove all distractions
One of the greatest challenges for parents today is eliminating distractions. Some kids may be having trouble finishing their food because they get easily distracted by toys and screens. Helping them focus starts by eliminating these distractions. This can be done by encouraging discussions or engaging in conversations during mealtime.
Make mealtime a time to introduce proper values to your kids. Aussie Baby has a wide range of products for feeding time to be fun and enjoyable for your kids.