It was the fourth bloody tooth which my son yanked out of his mouth and sat on the dinner table that made my husband declare our children had not achieved the art of table manners.
I was just happy with the "no farting or burping at the dinner table policy", but apparently my husband has higher expectations of the kids than me.
So I set out on a quest to "teach those children some table manners", at his request. He probably expected me to lay down the law and set some stricter standards.
But I saw this as a fun reason to get dressed up and go out to eat!
I spent some time searching for the etiquette rules to review for the "classroom" instruction because I was convinced what the kids really needed was to learn proper table etiquette in a formal dining setting...you know, at the type of reservation-only place where you need to get all dressed up to eat.
So our local college happens to have a beautiful restaurant serving up gourmet food in a formal setting that requires reservations. But the BEST part of it is that it's only $10 to eat there!
So I made reservations for a day when the kids were out of school, and we invited some family members to share the memory with us.
And we had class that morning, identifying utensils and order of eating with them, table settings, and proper table side etiquette. Then we put on our best fancy attire and headed out for our reservations.
Once we got to the restaurant, the kids took it seriously and we sure did have a good laugh whenever we made mistakes. I started the blunders by accidentally stealing my son's drinking glass, and it was the most fun whenever the kids pointed out mistakes the adults made at the table. I guess they really did learn something!
We make it a daily habit to practice our table manners at home now, and whenever one of the kids does forget their manners, all I have to do is look at them and say "manners"...that gets them back on track!
4 tips for a table manners class