A Mannerly Meal
You will need to plan this activity around a family meal. You can make it a special meal by using the good china or serving special food. It can also be done at an ordinary family dinner. Put 5 chocolate kisses in front of each person’s place setting. Explain that during dinner we will be practicing our table manners. Before the meal begins, ask for examples of good and bad table manners. Now tell them that if you see someone exercising bad table manners, you may kindly ask for a kiss. If you are caught and someone asks for a kiss you must hand one over nicely. At the end of the meal, you can see who has the most kisses. Each child gets to keep the kisses they won. You may also have a stash of extra kisses to hand out as a reward for exhibiting good table manners as you see them.
To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
- Is the meal more pleasant for everyone when we are mannerly?
- What would happen to a salesman entertaining a client at dinner, if he had poor table manners?
- What would happen if you are dining at a friend’s house and you behaved poorly? What if it was a girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s house?
Extend the discussion to other manners. What if your lack of manners showed up during a job interview?
Be sure to remind them that pointing out someone else’s lack of manners is not polite and that it was only done as part of a learning exercise during this meal. You may want to keep the extra kisses handy and reward mannerly meal behavior throughout the rest of the week.