I have four little boys. Five if you count the big guy (my husband). So dinner time can be, shall we say, rambunctious. I watch them sometimes and the famous phrase “Were you raised in a barn?” comes to mind. Not only do they smack their food and grab, and kick, and spill, but the topics of conversation usually revolve around bodily functions. I was pondering this one day and came up with a plan. I made dinner as usual but made the boys stay down in the playroom while I was getting it ready. I set the table with our nice plates (anything that isn’t paper is “nice” at our house) and got some candles lit. I turned off the lights to set the mood. I got a note pad and pencil then went downstairs. I told them I was there to take their order. I had a few different shapes of pasta, a few different sauce options, a couple vegetable choices, and milk, juice, or water. They loved the idea of being able to choose just like a restaurant. I came back up to fill their orders and then called for them to come up. I didn’t say a word. I just stood in the kitchen across from the dining table and watched. When they came up and saw the way the dining room looked, they were so quiet. You could tell they were excited but the mood had effected them. While we ate we talked about what good table manners were and WHY we are suppose to have good manners. Every time it gets a little crazy at dinner I remind them of that dinner and we have a refresher course on manners. I might just do it again for fun!
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