Tuesday's Tip Jar

Do you have problems at the dinner table? We have had the hardest time getting Little Man to use his fork and spoon when eating. He is really starting to learn about table manners at daycare, so we am following suit and home. We talk about good manners all the time.

This lovely little gem comes to me from a good friend. It's how she gets her kids to use good table manners. Last night as I watched Little Man use his hands to shovel green beans into his mouth, I decided enough was enough. Us repeating, over and over, "use your fork...use your spoon" just wasn't working. I took a break from dinner and ran for the change bowl. I grabbed 10 pennies and lined them up in front of him. I told him they could all be his at the end of dinner if, and only if, he used his fork and spoon for each bite. I also told him that every time I saw him use his hands to eat that I would take away a penny.

Ahhhh...Little Man accepted the challenge. Can you, however, guess what happened the first time he lost a penny? He wigged out. His little lip was so low it was almost hitting the table. I had to explain the whole process again and let him know he had a chance to get the penny back the next night. He lost only one more penny after that and the reaction was less tearful. He ended the night using his spoon and fork for most of his meal. Losing only 2 pennies was far better than I expected.

If your child isn't into pennies, use something he or she is into. Marshmallows, pretzel sticks, stickers. Whatever it is, it will work. You can use it for anything at the table. Once we get the flatware mastered, we will move onto food dropped on the floor. Once that is mastered we will move to using a quiet voice at the table. The possibilities are endless.

Now I say to you, "Go forth and conquer those bad table manners!"

4 People Raise Their Wine Glasses to Me:

Rebecca said...

You know, I never thought to do something like this - I know it would work with Bug - thanks!!!

Terria said...

Now this is an exciting thought and looks like it will be very helpful thanks for the tip.

Donna Blessed Nest said...

helpful tip thanks..guess they learn counting and the value of a Pennie as well as manners. I'm all for multitasking! Thanks!

Heather said...

Too cute! Timmy is a fast learner huh! Wonderful that he has the reward system down!

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