What do you do when your child lick their fingers, when they lick their spoons; They spill their food on the table. It can become embarrassing when children talk while eating in party, and are loud and fast while chewing their food.

Table manners cannot be taught overnight. How to behave at the table is something that is taught from the toddler stage with the help of books, show and tell by example and reinforced with praise. If a child is acting up at a table when visitors are around, look for what might be the cause of it, is the tired or unwell? If the situation gets out of control and you are on the verge of losing your temper, excuse yourselves from the table, take the child to another room and talk about problem. The child can rejoin the table when he is calm and ready to behave appropriately. Jal Dani, director of Bengaluru-based GroomX Knowledge Works Pvt Ltd adds, “If your child is using inappropriate language or yelling or being rude, you need to nip that in the bud, sit down and talk to your child and find out why they are behaving in such a manner; did they see someone else do that or talk like that, or is something upsetting them that you are unaware of? These actions aren’t without a reason. Something usually is prompting your child to act to get your attention. Ensure that you are soft-spoken when dealing with your child. Yelling at her or pushing her or responding negatively will not solve the problem but most likely make it worse.”

You can rest assured that if you, as a parent, follow the basic courtesies of life such as trying to remember names of people you meet; always saying please and thank you when appropriate; not gossiping or speaking poorly of people at social events; not being boastful and following proper dining etiquette, your child will follow your lead. Do not forget if you want a ‘Good’ child, then be a ‘Good’ parent. Her pattern of behavior is often a reflection of all you have inculcated in her over the years. Sometimes she may try to manipulate situations to her advantage by creating a ruckus much to your disappointment and embarrassment. When she finds herself in the spot-light with an attentive audience, she soon realizes she has the upper hand. Her squirming parents often fall in line and give into her unreasonable demands. However, you must face this attack head-on. Your child has to be corrected immediately. You must be consistent in your approach.’’

Teaching children good manners creates a foundation that will follow your child throughout her life. Most of all remember you are dealing with a child. You are teaching her and only continual support and reminders will help her learn the lessons. Negative attitudes or punishments will not make her behave properly. Make sure you practice what you preach. If you are acting inappropriately, don’t be surprised if your child imitates you in your behavior. The student will only learn what the teacher is teaching, and that applies to good and bad behavior.

When at a party or at a school, when on the field or wherever else, a child who has been taught good manners will not have to be ‘told to behave’. Good behavior will become a natural way of life. When she find that it also fosters positive feelings, she will automatically work towards presenting her best front.

Learning Manners - Parenting