“Teaching Table Manners to Children” was the topic I was asked to comment on this week in the Daily Telegraph.
My comments were “Children do need a lot of help with table manners. There are a lot of things parents have to focus on (these days) and probably table manners have gone by the wayside”.
It is a sad fact of life today that parents have to concern themselves with very important issues such as bullying, cyber bullying, chat rooms and drugs, so good table manners is well down the list of “important” issues for parents to teach their children.
This is where an etiquette class in table manners can help. Adults as well as children can learn perfect table manners in under 3 hours. And once they have learnt them, they will have the knowledge for the rest of their lives. I always like to teach table manners over a meal. I feel the hands on approach is the best. This way I can correct anything that is not right – such as elbows not tucked into the sides of the body, the knife and fork not being held correctly and the soup not being scooped up in an outward motion.
Setting a Table
As well as teaching people how to eat correctly, I also teach how to set a table and to know which cutlery to use for each course.
Then there is the correct use of a serviette, from knowing how to unfold it to when to dab one’s lips and what to do with it when you have finished your meal or if you have to leave the table for a few minutes are all really important.
Wine tasting is another topic I cover when teaching table manners to adults. I find that not many adults know how to correctly taste wine but this is really important if you are the host.
It is also important to know what to do if something goes wrong at the table, such as spilling your wine or dropping a piece of cutlery.
I always believe that if people know they have good table manners, they can then relax and enjoy the company of the people they are dining with.
Teaching table manners to children and adults is a really important part of my work and a topic that I love.