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Five-Step Children's Manners Makeover for the Holidays: Step 2 Table Conversation Hero Label

Five-Step Children's Manners Makeover for the Holidays: Step 2 Table Conversation

The art of dining includes several things: the table setting which brings order and beauty, the menu which delights the taste buds, and the conversation that brightens the day! The following tips will help your children learn the art of table conversation.

graphic: how do I help my kids with the art of small talk
  • Talk to people on both sides of you and across the table.
  • Volume: Not too loud; not too soft.
  • Don’t talk with your mouth full! (If it’s a problem, try putting a mirror in front of your child during a meal, so she can see how it looks.)
  • The art of small talk: Suggest topics like the weather, sports, local events, school and then practice. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead use who, what, where, when, and how. Here are some practice questions. Help your kids make up their own:
    • “What did you think of the ball game last night?”
    • “What was the sledding like after that snow storm?”
    • “I heard you won the state spelling bee last week! That is so cool…What comes next?”
    • “Mom says you went to Spain last summer. Can you tell me about it?”
  • Avoid talking about personal family issues.

Practice at each meal this week. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something about your children you didn’t know. And, better yet, maybe they’ll learn something about you!

Now on to Step Three: Gift You Don't Wrap