Over the last few weeks, our son has had somewhat poor manners at the dinner table. Nothing horrible, but more like chewing with his mouth open and elbows on the table. We are trying to break this habit, which isn’t always easy without some form of consequence. We can say it over and over again and he still will continue doing it, but with consequence it’s at least in the back of his mind. Here are my suggestions, which can turn into a fun family activity. 🙂 WEIRD, I know!
– When he chews with his mouth open, and either myself or my husband mention it to him, he has to do 5 push ups.
– When we catch him with his elbows on the table, he has to sprint our back yard three times (so a total of 3 lengths – down, up, down).
If he catches himself doing either, then he doesn’t have to run or do push ups. We are happy that he’s paying some attention to his actions. Luckily he really loves the motivation (or else we’d pick something else like no X-box). He loves to play sports and plays soccer 3 times a week, which we just learned may be increasing next year. As if we didn’t have enough time already! But the part that makes this fun and a little competitive is doing the sprints and push ups with him. This way he doesn’t feel like he’s being punished, but at the same time has the sense to keep in mind that he’s going to be exercising after dinner if he’s not a little more careful. It has been fun and the whole family has responded well. Even our 5 year old daughter was out there running sprints. What do you do in your home to help enforce good manners when constant reminding does not work?