• The Little English Team

Table Manners 101

Our founder, Shannon Latham, puts family dinners at the top of her activities list. In the summer months her family has "Sunday Suppers" at 5pm each week. Sometimes it is just family and other times close friends will join. From sharing recipes and cooking together to conversations and stories - family dinners are so dear and important.

Eating as a family has been scientifically proven to promote happiness within your family, help instill healthy eating habits, & even lay a great foundation for social skills.

Lovely table manners can be instilled at an early age with repetition and patience. This will make mealtimes more enjoyable for everyone whether you're at home or out!

Table Manners 101:


Ask your children to wash their hands before every mealtime


Once they are seated, their napkin always goes on their lap for protection of their clothing in case there's any messy eating. It is important to remind your child that while their shirt sleeve may do the trick, their napkin does it better.


Waiting is the hardest part, but it is lovely and polite to wait to begin eating until everyone is seated and has been served.


This can be a tough one. With younger children, the use of hands is at times acceptable. However, it is never too early to begin teaching children how to hold or grip utensils and when to use them.


Keeping elbows off the table can reduce the risk of spills and encourage good posture.


Mouth closed, please! It is important to teach children the importance of chewing their food entirely - not only for safety reasons, but also good manners! If your child begins to speak and has not finished the food in their mouth, gently remind them to remember their thought and wait.


Children should absolutely be encouraged to converse while at the table, but teach them to not interrupt. Shannon would ask her children, if seated close by, to place their hand on her arm if they had a thought they absolutely had to get out! Otherwise, your child will need to wait their turn or learn how to actively listen to keep their comments on topic.


It is lovely to give thanks after a meal. That can be to whoever cooked the meal, your waiter, etc. It is also lovely to thank the people around you for spending time with you.