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I have concluded that my 4 year old dd really should be able to use a knife and fork...

(13 Posts)
snickersnack Mon 08-Jun-09 22:16:51

I've just realised that she doesn't know how blush. It's clearly my fault - I just never give her a knife to use when we're eating. She obviously sees us doing it, and she helps me in the kitchen to cut veg and stuff (obviously with a huge amount of help and supervision) but it never occurred to me to give her a knife.

This is quite bad, isn't it? Her table manners are actually quite good - she eats very neatly, clears her plate, sits at the table etc. But when I gave her a knife at tea time to see what would happen, she looked oddly at me and asked what to do.

What age did you give your dcs a knife and how old were they when they got the idea of using it properly?

DottyDot Mon 08-Jun-09 22:19:00

DS1 - 7 and still won't use a knife. He knows what it's for but just won't... hmm

Ds2 - 5 and is getting there! He'll have a good go at cutting up his fishfingers but gives up on anything more tricky than that.

They've both had knives and forks at tea time for donkeys years but I think it depends on the child as to when/how exactly they start using them..!

Twinklemegan Mon 08-Jun-09 22:20:39

DS has had a knife since he was 2.5. He's now 2.10 and is really getting the hang of it. It's imitation, pure and simple. Your DD will work it out in no time - don't worry!

FrayedKnot Mon 08-Jun-09 22:30:01

DS has been given a knife to use since he was about 3.

He is 5 now and knows perfectly well what to do with it, but has yet to actually bother grin

Much easier to ask me or DH to cut things up for him hmm

chipmonkey Mon 08-Jun-09 22:36:44

Ds2 has dyspraxia and still has trouble with knives and forks at 10.
Ds3 is 4 and insists on having a matching Thomas the Tank Engine knife and fork at dinnertime but chooses not to actually use them, they are purely for decorative purposes!hmmgrin

golgi Mon 08-Jun-09 22:37:39

My son is 4 and a half and still uses his fingers most of the time. I do provide cutlery and try to get him to use it, but often get distracted by his small brother throwing food on the floor. It's a bit like feeding time at the zoo, really. On my list of "things to sort out before he starts school".

wishingchair Tue 09-Jun-09 12:38:03

DD1 is 6.5 and still struggles (she has no dyspraxia ... just can't do it easily). I have to hold her hands in correct way to demonstrate, then she gets it. If she had her way, she would do it american style: fork in left hand to jab it, knife grasped right hand in upright position to hack away, then fork shifted to right hand to eat it.

DD2 is 2.10 and has no clue.

usernametaken Tue 09-Jun-09 12:43:04

My 4yr DD has had a knife with every meal for yonks...and every meal she doesn't touch it! Sometimes whe will try and cut up things like fish fingers but then she is so appalled at the butchered mess she refuses to eat the food! Sometimes she will use the knife to push peas onto her fork, but they roll off too quick so she resorts to a spoon!

At Nursery she is given a spoon and a fork only, like the rest of the kids in her class. Not sure what happens when they go to Reception class.

Your DD sounds like she has great table manners anyway, which is the main thing for me.

saintmaybe Tue 09-Jun-09 12:49:57

Some things are easy and fun to cut, dd's been practising with tofu sausages, a bit like frankfurters (oops, not really poncetastic, honest!). They don't fall to pieces, which can be a bit dispiriting.

HSMM Tue 09-Jun-09 12:53:15

I used to be a dinner lady lunch time assistant and there are loads of school children who cannot use cutlery properly. Just start now and she will soon get the hang of it. My DD (aged 9) has always fed herself when she eats with me, but for some reason my DH still cuts up her dinner for her! (little princess syndrome I think grin)

titchy Tue 09-Jun-09 13:27:49

ds8 still eats American style blush. Can sort of manage with a knife, but tends to cut up everything at once, then put the knife down never to be used that meal again.

girlywhirly Tue 09-Jun-09 16:59:10

It's a skill that gets better with practice, like handwriting.

snickersnack Wed 10-Jun-09 21:30:51

Thanks everyone. Thinking about it, the food she likes (and therefore the food I cook, as ds is a fussy little thing and hardly eats anything) is all basically no-knife stuff. She doesn't like "joined-up meat", will only eat mince, tiny bits of chicken in pasta etc. And veg, if it is too big to be picked up on a fork, is eaten with fingers. So she doesn't really need to use a knife. I might have to work on her repertoire before working on the cutlery handling.

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