Thursday, June 24, 2010
Where Did These Pigs Come From?
We've had to have a come to Jesus meeting in our house.
You know how sometimes you think you're doing ok...everything is rocking along just fine and then all of a sudden you are forced to stand back, gasp, and exclaim, "Where did all these PIGS come from and why are they sitting around my table eating my food?"
Well that's what happened last night when the manure hit the fan, so to speak.
Like most families, our lives are crazy. Busy. And mealtimes are about the worst. Trying to get food on the table, get three small kids fed, get everyone something to drink, more ketchup, an extra napkin, another helping of chicken, more milk, pass the salt, get your feet off the table, stop hitting your brother, say excuse me, no potty talk, sit up, use your fork, chew with your mouth shut, "we don't say butt" (see earlier post), and on and on and on.....
And then one night everything is completely out of control, someone spills their milk, and you LOSE it. L...O....S....E....it, I tell you.
When I calmed down I realized that we really haven't "practiced" using good table manners. I mean, we remind them all the time....but I don't know when we truly practice it. We stay on them, and we expect them to behave at the table, but in the midst of an already crazy scene, sometimes it's all lost in translation, especially on little minds.
I discovered this little game (on this website) a while back and decided it was time. So I rounded everyone up (NOT at mealtime), and we brainstormed what is and is not proper mealtime behavior and made our list of rules.
Then we made a game out of it.
Everyone is reminded of the rules at the beginning of the meal and each child gets 4 quarters to start out. Each time a rule is broken, they lose a coin and put it in the middle of the table. The person who loses the LEAST amount of coins at the end of the meal gets everyone's coins.
You won't want to do it at every meal, but after a few times, the rules should start to stick and you can do it only as needed or when you need a refresher course. As they get older, you can make the rules more complex and take it to a whole new level of proper etiquette (boys standing when girls walk in, boys holding chairs out for girls, proper placement of silverware, etc.).
We just played at lunch today and it worked great! Except that Stuart lost all his money when he peed his pants in the kitchen chair.
Posted by Mommy, Esq. at 5:46 AM