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Old 01-21-2005, 11:18 AM   #1
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Got any table manners stories? I'll tell you my best one. We were having dinner with a couple and their two daughters. One of the girls, at the time a young teen, said the word "Yuck." She wasn't referring to my food, she was loving the weird stuff I put out, and commenting on what some of her friends would say. I simply told her that I hoped that some day she'd be lucky enough to visit places and people who were in different cultures and cuisines. I said my mom (we did grow up with different cultures and cuisines) told me that sometimes you simply say, "I don't care for any, thank you." A few months later this young girl's mom said she (the mom) experimented with something, and one of her daughters tried it, and when offered seconds, said, "Mom, I don't care for any more, thank you." She said the entire table fell apart laughing. "Claire said it was right!" The mom thanked me for it, I might add.

Please don't assume your children will spend their lives eating in front of the TV, or with only their family. Teach them to be able to go from their lives to others, and have fun doing it.

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Old 01-21-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
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I am going to be the first to respond to my own post. One thing I have taken to doing is complimenting people on their childrens' manners when I run into it. I often am furious with anger when I am spending big bucks to have a fancy dinner, later at night (7 or after) at a very expensive restaurant. I literally had toddlers under my table in an expensive DC restaurant for a particularly special dinner one day. Trying to turn a negative into a positive, some times I find myself in a good restaurant and next to a table with kids. I go in expecting the worst, and ready to ask for another table. Then I discover that the table next to me .... has parents who have trained their kids in manners. I usually find an opportunity to talk to one of the parents (usually Mom, in the Ladies'), and always approach them and say, "Your kids are beautiful and they have such wonderful manners. They are a pleeasure to be around. Thank you."
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:38 AM   #3
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When my brother and I were young boys it seemed that every time we went out to a restaurant with my parents someone always came up to our table to compliment my parents on our manners. When I was a kid I just thought that is what adults did. Once I was older I realized that it was because my parents had done such a good job of teaching us how to act. I am forever grateful to my parents for that and I plan on teaching my daughter the same lessons.
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:23 PM   #4
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One of my pet hates is people who tell their servers "I want..." instead of "Please may I have..." or "I would like.........please". I just find the phrase "I want" very impolite, although it's commonly used over here in the US, so I think it's just one of those culture differences between the US and the UK. Gosh, I would have got my ears boxed if I had asked for anything with an "I want" as a child LOL! We always remember to say 'Thankyou' to our servers too, when they bring us our food, drinks, or whatever. My kids aren't perfect, by any means, but generally behave themselves well at the dinner table - although my teenage daughter often has to be reminded "No elbows on the table!".

Our other pet hates where manners are concerned.....
*Not taking your hat or coat off when eating at table (have been sorely tempted to whip the baseball caps off complete strangers sometimes )
*Eating with your mouth open (disgusting!).
*Eating slumped over your plate with one or both elbows on the table (teenage boys are the worst offenders!).
*Slurping up spaghetti - for goodness sake, if you can't twirl it nicely, then at least cut it up - but please don't sit there sucking it up (unless you are under 2 years old, very cute and sitting in a highchair!).

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Old 01-21-2005, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
I am going to be the first to respond to my own post. One thing I have taken to doing is complimenting people on their childrens' manners when I run into it. I often am furious with anger when I am spending big bucks to have a fancy dinner, later at night (7 or after) at a very expensive restaurant. I literally had toddlers under my table in an expensive DC restaurant for a particularly special dinner one day. Trying to turn a negative into a positive, some times I find myself in a good restaurant and next to a table with kids. I go in expecting the worst, and ready to ask for another table. Then I discover that the table next to me .... has parents who have trained their kids in manners. I usually find an opportunity to talk to one of the parents (usually Mom, in the Ladies'), and always approach them and say, "Your kids are beautiful and they have such wonderful manners. They are a pleeasure to be around. Thank you."
I do the same thing.. only I talk to the kids about it too. I think making them feel good about a behavior makes them want to keep doing it.
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:11 PM   #6
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edited: i deleted this myself. why be arguementative...
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:49 PM   #7
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I invariably am the one to say "thank you" when a waitperson refills someone else's drink - just say "thank you" - and to get their attention a simple "excuse me" is sufficient - do NOT snap your fingers or whistle - and I have seen both - or hollar "honey!"

With that being said my son fell asleep at the table one evening - we had gone over table manners earlier that day - when I woke him up (he was about 2 1/2) I asked him why he didn't say "may I be excused" - he said he couldn't remember what to say so he just sat there and fell asleep.
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:59 PM   #8
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I never will forget the time when TC was about 6 yrs old & we went out to eat with some friends of ours. Well, our waitress was very pretty & TC looked at her as she was refilling my tea & said "Hey baby, can I have your phone number?" I wanted to crawl under the table! Luckly she had a good sense of humor & sweetly smiled & told him that when he was 18 to come back & find her.

Overall, my children have pretty good table manners. They would be even better if I could get their nana to stop teaching them bad habits, like blowing the paper off of a straw across the table! She would have tore my tail end up for doing that when I was a kid! :roll:
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:02 PM   #9
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Isn't it funny how rules change from kids to grandkids? :roll:

Crewsk, that's a great story about TC! It's scary the things they hear and pick up, isn't it?!?

I think one of the best things that my parents did for me to teach me manners as a child was that if we went out to eat, I had to order for myself. It bothers me when I see parents ordering their 10, 11, 12 year old's meal for them. This doesn't mean I was allowed to order whatever I wanted (I had to clear it with M&D first), but it did mean that I had to learn to politely talk to a stranger and to speak for myself, answer questions, etc. A good lesson and one I'll be sure to pass on one day.
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:03 PM   #10
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It's different when you are the nana, crewsk. All of the spoiling, none of the discipline. We used to have to de-program Lizzie every time we went to Memphis.
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:07 PM   #11
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Oh my goodness! I didn't mean to upset anyone - it's just one of the first things I noticed when I moved over here to the USA and we started eating out in restaurants. How can I explain? In certain countries it is OK for women to wear shorts and go bare-headed into churches, in other countries it is not OK. I've heard the phrase "I want (insert menu item)" said so many thousands of times to servers that even though, with my particular upbringing, this would be considered somewhat rude, I just assumed that this was the norm over here....and not considered rude at all - rather just a figure of speech sort of thing. I have to say that Americans are generally some of the most polite & friendly people I have ever met - I never got called "Ma-am" or "Miss Lynda" in England, or had the door held open for me nearly so much, or received so many 'Thankyou' letters in my life! which is why I suppose, I found it stood out so much to hear so many people asking for things with an "I want". Maybe it's just a Colorado thing.... ??? Maybe it's because it was constantly drummed into me as a child that 'I want doesn't get' LOL! There are plenty of Brits with appalling table manners, I can vouch for that!

Unfortunately, Britain does have more than it's fair share of yobbish 'Lager Louts' who are extremely ill mannered, travel a lot (because air fares are so dirt cheap from the UK), and give the rest of us a bad name

Believe me, I love living here (apart from the lack of good bacon LOL!), have many great American friends, and wouldn't wish to offend anyone from this country or any other country - so if I have, I truly apologise

:oops:

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Old 01-21-2005, 03:11 PM   #12
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You deleted too late, Buckytom LOL! But I'm glad I had the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings :)

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Old 01-21-2005, 03:12 PM   #13
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Yes to both of those PA!

Mudbug, the crazy part is that my mom, kids, & I took my grandma out for lunch one Saturday & she even got involved in the paper blowing! When I was growing up she wouldn't let us grandkids get away with anything. She spoiled us but we were expected to behave & have good manners. I have to de-program them more when they come home from my in-laws than I do when they come back from my parents. Even hubby has agreed with me on that. My in-laws get highly upset with me when I make the kids mind or get on to them about anything.
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:14 PM   #14
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Ahhh, in-laws. Another whole topic..... :twisted:
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:14 PM   #15
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i deleted my post so as not to upset you paint. sorry if i did. i was sure that you didn't mean it that way, but my feelings came out not unlike lava from a volcano. there are exceedingly few things that get me upset, but you found one, given what i had mentioned i have seen so many times.
again, sorry to make something out of really nothing, and thanks for your understanding...
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:15 PM   #16
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Yes it is PA! I could write a very long book on mine! :roll:
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:31 PM   #17
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Paint I agree with you about people saying I want. I find it very disturbing how many people do say it. Another one is gimme. Gimme a steak with a large coke. I want extra fries with that. It is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I think that it has just become a figure of speech. I am sure that most people who say it do not mean any harm, but it does bother me to a certain degree.
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:51 PM   #18
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i get compliments on my son's manners all the time.
as soon as he started speaking i taught him to say
please, thank you, etc... it's how i was taught.
it's how my parents were taught and so on.

i absolutely hate when people talk and chew with there mouths full.
so disgusting. sitting next to parents whose children have no manners,
then rrealizing neither do the parents. slurping, burping among other bodily funtions ewww. most of all i hate when people don't even say please or thank you to the waiter/waitress. they're very simple words to say. oh and people sneezing/coughing and not covering there mouths.
bf does this all the time and i'm forever yelling at him for it. he's disgusting.
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:56 PM   #19
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I was about 4-5 years old and my mother was having one of her monthly luncheons and I was allowed to be there (why escapes me). I have no clue what she served but the lady next to me did not clean her plate, so I very kindly told her that if she had cleaned her plate like her mommy had told her she would not have all those wrinkles. My mother was mortified and everyone, including the lady, laughed. Out of the mouths of babes. Everyone one of us has been told to clean their plates because......... wonder how many excuses there are, I remember starving people somewhere, but other than these two I do not remember any.
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Old 01-21-2005, 06:19 PM   #20
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I am always amazed when holidaying in European countries like Italy, Spain and Greece to see how well behaved the children are at mealtimes. Maybe the very relaxed way of life - and the 'no hurry' appreciation of food which is instilled in kids at an early age makes this so, I don't know.

Like Paint, I was brought up to be extremely polite - 'Please may I have' ... 'Please may I leave the table' etc; no elbows on tables ... I insisted my children did the same - and it certainly became second nature to them.

As Paint says - the British lager-louts are something else - so we have no room for complacency in the 'manners' stakes!

One thing we were taught in my family when I was a child, was the family rule of 'FHB'. The meaning? Well, being Scots and sociable and having friends or relatives drop in without prior arrangment (often at mealtimes) meant that sometimes the food for 2 adults and 3 children had to be stretched to accommodate these visitors. If it was at tea-time, with sandwiches, cakes, buns etc - Mum would hiss 'FHB'... This meant....

Family Hold Back! 8)

As children we often felt very hard done by, having to say 'no thanks' when asked if we wanted another slice of cake....
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