Everyone’s in a rush these days, or so it seems. When it comes to dinnertime, cell phones, tablets, TVs, and more are all posing a serious challenge to those who want to eat in style.
Here are 10 table manners you should maintain, regardless of all the technology that surrounds you.
Cell phones off, please.
Okay, so not really ‘off’ but at least off the table. Away from the table. Better yet, keep them away from the dining area completely. Oh, but that call from so-and-so you’re expecting, or the text from your best friend after she talked to that guy you liked … nope. Family should always come first.
Napkins should be placed in your lap.
Why this basic table manner was left to rot for so long remains a mystery. It’s certainly easy to keep it on the table next to your plate, but that’s not where it belongs.
Never talk with food in your mouth.
Sure, there are reasons why you’re stuffing your mouth. You want to hurry up and get done so you can text your friend. Eat slow and clear your mouth before talking.
Children should remain seated until everyone’s done.
“May I be excused” is polite to say, but everyone should remain at the table until the entire family is done eating.
Don’t push food around the plate.
If there’s something you don’t like, leave it. Pushing it around to try and make it look like you’ve eaten some is just plain rude.
Keep those elbows off the table.
Kids love to lean their elbows on the table, but they should never touch the surface, either while chewing or not. Adults should simply know better.
Never grab food with your bare hands.
This is an outdoor picnic technique and while it may be fine for those outings, it’s not fine when you’re talking about dining at home. Avoid grabbing food with your hands. Use utensils instead.
Don’t use your fingers to get food onto your fork.
When you’re getting down to the end of your meal, there’s more of a chance to encounter this situation. If you need a little help getting food onto the fork, then you should always use the knife to do this.
While the digital age has certainly changed a lot of behaviors in our world, one thing is certain: table manners should not be neglected because there are so many distractions surrounding us or because we find ourselves in such a hurry to go do … well, basically nothing.
Keep table manners intact and enjoy that time together.
Written by G. T. Hedlund