Meal-Time Manners

Is meal-time ever frustrating for you, or Dad? With seven children around our table, sometimes meals can be a bit…ummm…crazy. I have found, too, that no matter how many times I’ve said, “Don’t speak until you’ve swallowed,” or “Please ask nicely,” some children simply don’t recall those words of wisdom :). So here is a way to instill some Meal-Time Manners in your children without having to say a thing!  These little cards have, quite honestly, inspired a LOVELY change around our dining room table.


The Meal-Time Manners cards are pretty simple to use.  Just print on cardstock; fill-in each child’s name (there are two cards per page); laminate the front; cut apart and fold in half.

Before you set the cards out for the first meal, go over the “rules” with your kids. Oh, you may have a few grumblers, but once you explain the REWARDS they will gain as they submit to this training, you should have everyone on board.

And yes, there must be rewards (we want our children to submit with a happy heart ). So, you might need to make a quick trip out to grab some stickers–just simple stars or smiley-faces are best. You will want to reward your children for each meal that they achieve all the goals.  Now, for your little ones, you may want to take a graduated training approach; allowing them to earn stars for achieving a couple key goals each meal.  Then, once a star is earned, give them couple more goals to work on.TMan2

So, what do you do with all these stars (besides stick them to the back of your kids’ manners cards :)? Once, your kids have reached a particular goal (for our kids–it is when they collect three times their age of stars) they can choose to have a special treat.  You decide how BIG you will allow this treat to be.  My kids have picked a trip to Cold Stone, a favorite pizza, a favorite side dish and even breakfast outside.

Are you ready to get started on some meal-time bliss?  Download the Meal-Time Manners Cards here.




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