Alternative to nagging about table manners - any ideas?(9 Posts)
Help! I need a new tactic. DD is 11. She still has the most awful table manners. I am like a stuck record. We eat at the table for almost every meal (maybe once a fortnight in living room for a treat). We eat out fairly often, and with other people, and I have been asking / telling / bribing / insisting / downright shouting at her to eat nicely eg mouth closed, no fingers since she was 18 months old. Maybe even younger.
When I remind her she does it. Then within 2 or 3 minutes she forgets again. Every single day. I have tried sticker charts. I have tried rewards, praise, everything. She's an otherwise bright kid and can usually pick something up from one telling. She just doesn't care. My mum says she's like a cat - you can only train her to do it if she wants to!
She's reaching the pre-teen moody and rebellious phase, and what used to be low-level mealtime nagging is turning into a battleground. I'm trying to back off from being on her back unnecessarily, and following the advice on this board to not sweat the small stuff. It's just I'm not sure this is small. At what point do I admit defeat and let her grow up with terrible table manners? I can't still be nagging her about this at 25? Can I?
Have you tried writing some meal time rules together getting her to suggest what should be there. Make a plan together of a reward if she behaves properly and a consequence if she does not then be really consistent with reward and consequence. Try talking about meal time rules at neutral times and give her praise for remembering and following rules.
Watching with interest as we have the same problem. DH has told me to lighten up as mealtimes can be like battle zones, but I cannot contemplate sending an adult out into the world who drops food all over himself, the table, the floor....it has to improve!
Yup, I hear you. Drives me absolutely bonkers. The two things that have helped are: 1) focusing on something else
like younger dc's manners and letting her be 2) the fact that a friend told me she had very nice manners when she had been over at their house, so she does know how and can wheel them out when needed. Maybe your DD is the same?
The other thing that was good was when she made the meal she was insistent that everyone behave very politely!
She knows what is expected of her.
You have told her enough times.
I would remove her plate without saying anything. Wait 2 mins, then ask if she is ready to eat nicely. Put plate back in front of her and repeat.
3 strikes would mean no food and she should be asked to leave the table.
You have nagged enough, save your breath, she's 11 not 4!
Thanks everyone. Glad to hear I'm not alone. I have tried some of these suggestions in the past. Have always stopped short of following through on no food. She's a beast when she's hungry!
But yes - time to stop the nagging. I think agreeing rules, writing them down and coming up with consequences is going to be my next plan. Can't help feeling there's really only another year or so left to get this sorted before I have to write it off and focus on the bigger things.
Does anyone know if there are still finishing schools in Switzerland?!
Tea in front of the TV and don't watch.
My Ddad went on an on and on and on about table manners.
I think DMum got sick of listening, so took to giving us tea before he got home
Honestly table manners are such small stuff as to be totally invisible, they can do it when your not looking.
I think I've never nagged about manners. What does she do ? AREVUOU uptight ?
yes back right off, you'd do my head in, but Ds1 aged 10 nearly 11 eats with his mouth open, so I developed a little subtle signal, I look at him and just go "ummmmm" with my lips closed like a him, he gets the msg most of the time and has said he likes the fact I don't go on and on and make a big fuss, I am a bit more hardcore when we are out eating, but not at home, you'll drive youself nuts in a big heap of stickers/rebellion. Is every mealtime really worth that much hoo haa? It is small stuff, how ever anoying YOU find it.
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