10 Best Table Manners For Kids: A Guide for Parents

table manners

Table manners are quite important. Kids should know the basic rules of table manners, whether eating in or out of the house. I noticed some of the kids were leaning over their plates, stuffing food in with their spoons. To distinguish our dining habits, the whole family must refine their table manners. Children learn everything from their environment.

Thus, it should begin in their early years and be an ongoing effort to educate children on table manners. Every home should practice table manners so that children can witness and learn them early on. A child can easily observe and imitate basic actions such as using polite words like “please,” “sorry,” “excuse me,” and “thank you,” sitting appropriately, and waiting for others to be served. Basic table manners show respect for everyone.

Also read: How To Build Up A Child’s Self-Confidence

So, try to teach your child the importance of table manners. Tell them what’s correct and incorrect, and why some things are done a certain way. When they are eating, they should also behave and keep quiet. Here, we’ll talk about the benefits of teaching proper dining habits to kids at an early age and provide you with a few simple lessons in table manners. I’ve put up a list of my top ten suggestions for kids’ table manners, which should help us all enjoy family dinners more.

table manners
image credit: Istock

Table Manners Children Need To Learn

Here are 15 table manners that children should be taught from an early age:

1. Wash Your Hands Before Meals

To prevent the spread of germs and appear presentable at the table, instruct children to come with clean hands and faces.

2. Place The Napkin On Your Lap

When your child sits down for a meal, teach them to place the napkin nicely on their lap. Inform children that if food spills, this keeps their clothes clean. Remind children to clean their mouths and hands with the napkin as well.

3.Sit Properly

Keep your elbows and feet off the table, sit up straight, and pull in your chair.

4. Wait For Everyone

Instruct your child to wait to eat until everyone has been seated and served.

5. Avoid Talking While Eating

Keep your mouth closed while chewing. Kids are usually talking about something. It’s important to teach your child to finish chewing their food before speaking, even though you should still encourage them to interact with family and share their experiences daily.

6. Don’t Pick Food Yourself

Kids often take food from other people’s plates. When a child is done eating, they like to reach out and grab food from their parents’ or siblings’ plates. Before eating food that is on other people’s plates, they have to get permission.

7. Request Food To Be Passed

Ask another person to pass something on the table rather than reaching across the meal to get it. As food spills, children should be asked to pass items around the table.

8. Don’t Mess Around With Food

Don’t let kids play with their food on the table if they are old enough to eat alone. No swallowing noodles, and especially no throwing food everywhere. They should not play with the utensils as well.

9. Use The Golden Words

Before you leave the meal, ask to be excused and clear your dish. A youngster has to learn the important words “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” They should use these words regularly. Make sure your youngster learns to express gratitude to the person who prepared and served the meal at the end of the meal.

10. Always Thank God For Food

Children should learn to follow table manners, which include thanking God for every meal. For your kids to understand and appreciate the effort that goes into preparing meals, encourage them to say “thank you” for each one. Saying “thank you” at the table is more about manners than it is about the food. And teach them to thank God, and it will teach respect for food.

image credit: Istock

Why Should Children Learn Table Manners?

The most important rule when teaching manners is that it’s ok if they make mistakes, just teach your little ones the basic skills and work on improving them. This will make your child more confident in social situations as they get older. Manners and good behavior have to be inculcated in them over time. Children love to make playtime out of every situation, and you can’t blame them, as it is the age to have fun.

Explain to your child that manners are a way of showing kindness to other people at the table, they are rules that apply to everyone and a way to show people at the table what a big kid they are. But once you take your child out to a family dinner, a restaurant, or any social gathering, you suddenly feel embarrassed at what a mess or ruckus your child causes while dining. Teaching children table manners and social etiquette can keep them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

However, as soon as you take your child to a restaurant, family meal, or other social event, you find yourself feeling ashamed of the mess or disturbance your child makes while eating. Children can benefit from learning etiquette and table manners for the rest of their lives.

While Teaching Manners, Stay Composed, Cool, and Controlled

Like everyone else, they will make mistakes. Keep in mind that your kid will not pick up all of these rules at once, they will take some time to become daily routines. If they don’t understand, stay cool and try again the next day. Maintaining calmness and reminding yourself that learning these skills takes time is important to making this work. Your kid will take after you when they’re ready, having learned from your positive example.

When Should Children Learn Table Manners?

Start with a few basic lessons, like “finish your food from the mouth,” “chew with your mouth closed,” or “don’t play with food,” after your child moves from the toddler meal chair to the table, which should happen between the ages of 18 months and three years. The majority of preschoolers are very open to learning table manners during their eating time.

Naturally, no two kids are alike, but it’s important to teach your child one style at a time to avoid overwhelming them. It’s important to keep in mind that children learn through copying, practice, and observation. Since we are the child’s biggest role model, make sure you set a good example for them by being polite at the dinner table.

For more information, read: Table Manners


Manners are very important to learn. To ensure that their children grow up to be responsible, lawful adults, parents should begin teaching their kids social skills at an early age. We outline rules in this visual to make sure people behave properly in public. You may print it out and give it to your kid. Guidance for your child is very important, as it says, “You reap what you sow.”

© Ruchi Verma

Disclaimer: This article is not published as financial advice or any other financial legal issue. This post is written as an informational part, please read all guidelines carefully before investing in financial transactions. We recommend you consult your financial planner before investing in any financial decisions.


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Ruchi Verma

Certified parenting teen practitioner, multiple Award winner, mother of two active kids believes in sharing the right source of information to readers which could help them in every possible way!!

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1 Comment

  1. What a fantastic guide for parents! Teaching kids good table manners is such an important aspect of their upbringing. These tips are practical and easy to implement. Thanks for sharing!

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