Teaching Basic Restaurant Manners for Kids
We always find our family eating in Bacolod restaurants or eating out whenever we travel. Our work gets us invited to events and a lot of times, we have to bring the kids because we don’t have a babysitter.
Whenever we eat out, it can be a struggle for us to get the kids to stay still. But thankfully, it’s not because the girls lack the basic restaurant manners for kids. It’s usually just that they easily get bored. Since we do not allow them to be distracted by gadgets, we have to keep them occupied.
Basic Restaurant Manners for Kids
We have seen many young kids getting unruly in restaurants. Meanwhile, we see neat children eating but it’s because their babysitters are feeding them. Or, the more common scene is that kids are very quiet because they are focused on their gadgets.
At the age of 5, the children have already developed some fine motor skills. By this time, they can normally able to handle their utensils. So that means, we can effectively teach them (or even earlier). We can teach them to eat by themselves so that we can also enjoy our family meals outside the home. Then, we can solve their boredom with activities after they are done eating. hehe
This is just a temporary phase and they will grow out of it. They won’t be perfect– Shane certainly isn’t. But it’s no excuse to trouble others with our kids’ antics when we can help it just by teaching them. Sometimes, embarrassing situations are unavoidable. However sometimes, it’s also lack of parental concern or involvement.
Fine Dining Activity
In relation to this, Bright Kids Preschool held a fine dining activity for their students. It wasn’t really “fine” dining, but more like teaching them basic restaurant manners for kids. The event was held at the GT Hotel here in Bacolod and was participated in by the Kinder classes.
Teacher Sheryll Ong, directress of Bright Kids Preschool, led the activity. She taught the kids how to behave and what to do when dining in restaurants.
- Related: Choosing the Right Preschool
The kids were told about the basic items on the table and how to use them–from the napkin to the utensils. They were also taught how to pour water from the pitcher.
They were served with plated dishes from soup to fried chicken, spaghetti, burger steak, and rice. For dessert, they had a mini cupcake. Don’t complain about the nutritional value of foods–these were chosen based on what is commonly liked by the kids.
It was nice to see the kids eating by themselves. Oh well, they needed some guidance from the teachers with the handling of the knife. They are still in kinder school after all. But otherwise, they were quite fine.
Exposure activities like these are very nice because they are designed to help the children in real-world situations. Of course, it entails additional fees, but it’s only minimal. Not only was it fun for the kids to go out with their classmates, it’s teaching them life skills as well.
Because I had to cover the event for this mommy blog, I had the opportunity to witness the kids. The teachers were able to settle them down systematically and orderly (but nicely) on their seats. They were noisy at first, but they quieted down and the lecture soon started. Some of the things that were taught to them were how to sit properly and the correct posture.
Teacher Sheryll showed them all the stuff in front of them, how they are used, and then they started eating away. They were also taught the polite way of ending the meal.
Top 10 Restaurant Manners for Kids
Here are some top 10 restaurant manners for kids. However, I think that a lot of grown ups can also learn from these.
- Sit properly on your chair and observe correct posture. Place your napkin on your lap.
- Turn off or keep your mobile phone/gadget.
- Wait for everyone to be served before eating.
- Use a knife and fork to cut meat.
- Cut your food one piece at a time.
- Chew your food with your mouth closed and without making noise.
- Don’t reach across the table. Politely ask somebody to pass what you need.
- Don’t talk when your mouth is full.
- Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
- Say “excuse me” when leaving the table.
Formal Dining Table Setup
In a fine dining setup, you will be face to face with a lot of silver ware and china in front of you. For most of us who live a fast-paced life, we no longer have time for such niceties. However, we will encounter these during formal gatherings, so it is best to be familiar with these and know how to use them.
If you are really in doubt on what to do, don’t rush into eating (even if your tummy is already making weird noises). Instead, wait until everybody is seated and settled. Inconspicuously observe what others are doing. You will not make a mistake if you will take things slowly and carefully. Rushing will just make you nervous all the more and get you into embarrassing situations.
Since we are on the homeschooling path, we are keen on teaching kids life skills. We like these kinds of activities very much. 🙂
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