Table etiquette may include:
- Which utensil to use.
- Your bread plate is on your left.
- Food is passed to the right
- The proper way to eat soup
Behaving with manners at the table includes knowing how to interact with the others eating with you.
It is at the table where my children were taught table manners and how to behave during meals.
Setting the table encourages a job done well and creativity grows from adding decorative touches, such as, using napkin folding designs or center pieces made by the children.
We learn social skills unconsciously at our family table. Minor acts of taking turns and passing food are important keys to developing a consciousness of others besides our own. We are able to discuss our views and listen to a contrary opinions without offense. It is also a place where we, as a family, work as a team by setting the table and clearing the table.
Traditions are a part of any family practicing table etiquette. It provides security in knowing what utensil to use, which roll is yours or how to use a table knife. Table etiquette does not vary as the rules never change. It is a practice we pass down through time.
Which side the bread plate needs to be or which fork is for salad may not be a life or death decision, but they are nice to know in the event you eat at a formal dinner. Having the knowledge and never using it is far better than not having the knowledge and needing to know.
The kids are grown but our table is still an important piece of furniture in our home. We play cards and games there when we are not eating as friends and family gather around it. Our table connects us with past memories made that grounds us as the individuals we have become.
Note from Mitch: this has been particularly helpful for us and we are now in a place where our teenager knows most dinners are a family
affair, and if he has guests during that time, they are expected to sit down with us, eat what I serve, and converse with our family. My son is being raised with table manners as Grace illustrates, and with the
knowledge that everyone is always welcome at his family’s table.
Grace Hodgin is a free lance writer and fiber arts expert residing on the edge of the Ocala National Forest. Grace shares her passion for DIY projects and her vegan lifestyle on her site at blessedelements when not guest posting for gaynycdad readers.