How do you like see-food?

Table manners.

My kids have none. This is evident to me every evening when we eat together, but it slaps me in the face when we have company.

Here is a list of my grievances:

1. In spite of the fact that he is yelled at by everyone else at the table when he does this, Avery talks non-stop during meals, regardless of what is in his mouth. Sometimes he waits until his mouth is good and full before saying anything.

2. In spite of the plentiful selection of silverware around her plate, Ruby chooses to use her fingers to pick up noodles and any number of other foods that require forks.

3. Avery doesn’t bother to take a serving of tortillas, french fries, or apples and place them on his plate. Instead, he uses the serving bowl as his own personal meal and just sits with it until it is empty and the rest of us don’t want any because his grubby hands have been in it through the whole dinner.

4. Rita doesn’t ask to have things passed to her. Instead, she stands on her chair and leans across the table to reach anything on the other side. Ruby gets up and walks around the table. Nobody asks for things to be passed because who can hear a thing over Avery’s talking?

5. Not only does Ruby stand to fill her plate, she spends most of her meal standing. We don’t know why.

6. In fact, at any given time during dinner, one or all three kids can be found milling around the kitchen for no apparent reason.

7. Everybody under age 12 in our house never—and I mean NEVER—waits for others to finish before they blab some important tidbit like ….well…. none of it is important. The idea of NOT interrupting is completely foreign to them.

8. Last night, and I am sure this happened countless times before (that went unnoticed), I caught two of my children at two separate times licking the serving spoon and preparing to place it back in the communal serving dish.Goops and tablemanners

I would like to make several things clear. The above are eight things that I harp on my kids about daily. They have been told every night for the last 6-11 years that they are not to do any of these. Ever. In fact, Avery even took a course in manners a couple of years ago. He says please and thank you like a champ, but rarely waits for everyone to be seated before he dives into his meal.

Now that I’ve mentioned it, all my children are fantastic with their ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous.’ They seem to be well-liked by teachers and other adults around them, so they must not be completely obnoxious.

However, for the life of me I cannot figure out how to correct these HORRIBLE table habits. HORRIBLE. I spend my evenings constantly reminding them of what NOT to do, and 11 years later, I am doing the same reminding every night.

Some families don’t even eat together, so I guess I should be happy about that. I would be happier if my kids didn’t eat like savages. And if our dinner table didn’t look like a tornado hit after every meal.

Usually I like to wrap these blogs up with some tidbit of wisdom to tie it all together. Here, I have none, other than to say my kids are gross. Period. Don’t come to my house for dinner.

How did you teach your kids manners? Seriously. I need to know.

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