3/13/2017 - In Fancy Restaurant Etiquette for Kids
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If you've read any of my previous articles on fatherhood, I mention that I am a huge proponent of teaching infants sign language.  One of the wonderful side benefits of sign language is verbal manners.  "Please" and "thank you" are integral signs that are In Fancy Restaurant Etiquette for Kids easily learned before a child begins to talk.  My wife and I taught our daughter to sign "please" whenever she asked for something and sign "thank you" once she received it.  This was happening between six and twelve months old.By the time she began to talk, saying please and thank you were second nature to her.  Even now, at three years old. her "please" and especially her "thank you" are vibrant and full of feeling.  She doesn't plead "pleeease" like many children.  She simply asks politely, and is most often rewarded for her efforts.  Yes, there are times when we must say no, and sometimes she will get an attitude, but that is another issue altogether. 
In Fancy Restaurant Etiquette for Kids
At one point before she could talk, my daughter got stubborn about saying please and thank you.  I was amazed that even though she was not yet speaking, she could know enough to balk at manners just like her older, speaking siblings.  As parents, we resolved to deny anything that was not asked for properly and in short order, the stubborn resistance faded away.Manners are something to be modeled, and many fathers struggle in this area. As dads, we often want the dinner table to be more lighthearted and relaxed.  Formal dining habits are not as high on our agenda as they should be.  Again, we can be tough and say "do as I say, not as I do", but this has a very limited effect and helps to encourage rebelliousness in children.  When you set a double standard, you send poor messages to your children. Eating a "formal" dinner every night is not feasible and also not necessarily the best solution.  Casual dining is important as well.  One way to handle this is to designate one night a week where the family sits down to a "formal" meal.  During this meal, all good, "formal" manners are to be observed.  Children love this.  They often volunteer to set the table with cloth napkins and forks, spoons and knives.  Breaking out the fine china if you have any will also inspire them to "buy into" formal dining.  By making it fun, and making it a consistent occurrence, they learn something valuable without feeling like they are in school.During casual meals, you must agree on what is relaxed from the formal meal.  If you practice this, I think you will find your children, your wife and yourself looking forward to the "formal" meal. Teaching the respectful titles of "sir" and "ma'am" are critically important to your children.  This begins in the home.  By teaching your children to address anyone older than themselves to say "yes sir" or "yes ma'am", you are handing them a ticket to a higher level of social prominence.  By speaking with respect to others - strangers, potential employers, potential friends and acquaintances - you give them a leg up in life.  Too many of their peers will not have been taught how to properly address others.  When you speak with respect, you teach the other person to treat you with respect.  This one manner alone is invaluable in life.
In Fancy Restaurant Etiquette for Kids
Fathers should lead the way in the area of good manners.  By doing so, children grow up with tools that will serve them in countless ways, all of them good.  Take the time as a father to give your children a great start on life.  Begin early in their lives and stick with it.
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