The Supper Table


I find that the supper table is a great way to share my faith/ morals with the family. We wait until everyone is at the table and start with a prayer. Then we seem to have all types of topics to share.

Today’s topic was about alcholism. We discussed a recent article in the Wall Street Journal regarding how 1 in 3 children of alcoholics become alcholics compared with 1 in 12 in the general population. The kids know that they have alcoholism on both sides of the family and this article was a great time to talk about drinking.

Perhaps others would like to share what you teach your kids or they teach you at the supper table.


lets see we have taught our kids to chew with their mouths closed, how to hold their utensils (not like shovels), what a napkin is for and some other random things:D our kids have taught us it is possible to drink milk and have it come out of your nose, lit candles and flowers on the table do not mix:( …
oh wait is this not the stuff you wanted to know about i bet;)


Not the stuff we want to know about…but just about what I was going to post. This summer after a particularly horrendous display of table manners, I made my twelve year old sit down and read a chapter from Emily Post AND discuss it with me.


Actually that stuff is very important. My 19 year old son has a friend who does not know these things. A very nice older lady was so appaulled at this that she took him under her wing and took him out to eat once a week to teach him manners. His family had never had a family supper…

Some of my son’s friends think we are very strange because we have a family dinner. One of my son’s friends couldn’t understand why my son insisted on being home to eat dinner because his family never did any such thing.

My son said that in some homes it is like strangers living in the same house and parents and children just go about doing their own thing.


A dear friend of mine made it a family tradition on Saturday night to have dinner in the dining room with the good china and silverware all properly set. That gave her the opportunity to teach her son proper table manners plus get use of her china. Her son is now a CFO of a company in Atlanta. Guess she did many things right as a Mother. I sure do miss her.


My family made family dinners a priority, and I learned a lot about the Catholic faith, politics, and sports while at the table, among many other topics of discussion. It was wonderful to have that every night. My husband was the opposite with his family. They spend many evenings eating together but in front of the TV. We both agreed that family dinners will be top priority for our family as well, because there’s so much bonding time that goes on during this time.


We know a priest who will soon have a show on MD public TV called Grace Before Meals. He goes to a family’s home, cooks dinner and has timely conversations around the dinner table! ( - there’s a clip of the pilot on the site :slight_smile:

Sunday dinner is mandatory at our house. Topics of general interest are discussed now that everyone is older. —KCT


With us it was always lunch on weekends and holidays - oftentimes our local priest, who was a dear friend of my parents, would pop over. We would discuss lots of things - current events, religion, whatever was going on in our lives. Swap corny jokes and good food. Often freshly caught fish barbecued fairly simply but just so … learned how to deal with fish bones for one thing.

Starting just prior to our first communion we would be allowed an occasional small sip of wine from Mum or Dad. For one thing it taught us how to take the Blood of Christ at Mass without gagging or pulling a face as so many children do. For another it demystified and deglamourised alcohol so that we none of us have problems with it as adults.


My aunt paid for and sent her granddaughter to a manners class. The poor kid lives with her mother and was never taught proper table manners, so Grandma did something about it!


I have seen this - it’s very bizarre. I know of one family where they all eat privately, away from each other, on the fly. Nobody ever sits at their dinner table - even alone. It was really creepy. Occasionally, you would here the microwave chime and someone would march outside and gulp down whatever it was outside by themselves. Mostly you never knew if they had eaten or not. They do this at odd times throughout the day.

I also have some friends who do sit together at the table for dinner - with a television set on one side so they can watch “The Simpsons” while they eat!

In our home, everyone eats together at the dinner table. We have the Big Grace on Sundays and Holy Days (“Bless us O Lord…may the souls of the faithful departed…”) and the Little Grace on weekdays (“God is great…”). Then the children (our oldest is in first grade) are each invited to talk about their day in turn. Then they are (supposed to be) quiet while Mom & Dad talk and they have to raise their hand if they have a question or need to excused.


no children yet…
but when I go to my sister’s house (for children there) I find the dinner table to be a great place to let them speak their minds. they can talk about school, friends, music…whatever. I think the dinner table is a great place to get to know all about what your children are doing. It’s a great chance to take a real interest in their interests. let them be the center of conversations, so they can see that their lives and what they are going through is important to you. I’ve noticed that my two oldest nieces really love it when I ask them questions about their day or whatever. it makes them feel like important contributers to the househ old. but I am not there every day, so that could be why. won’t know for sure until I have my own little family.


We work on manners - like not playing with our food and remaining seated until everyone is finished. Highly educational stuff.


Once when dh was out of town, we practiced good manners and discussing topics of general interest. At the end of the week we went to a restaurant and put it all into practice. It was fun!


Great idea. My mom started a neat tradition. When one of her grandsons turns 10 she takes them out to dinner by themselves. She teaches them all about proper ettiquette when going out to eat and what is proper for a “date”. She has 17 grandsons so she has had lots of fun with it and will continue for several years. My oldest was so glad he had the experience because he knew all the important stuff when he took a date to prom. The girl’s father was very impressed when he opened the car door for his daughter, etc. Her father didn’t even pick up his shotgun that was at the door!


AHH…10 y.o and then they learn proper table manners etc.???
I would shoot myslef if I had to sit across from a kid that long who did not know proper table manners


No - they knew table manners - this was beyond that. Things that you might not encounter on your daily table. Like when you have three forks, dinner served in courses, proper tipping, how to tell when to pay at table vs at cash register, etc.


ok…i guess our family is different than…as my kids & I knew this stuff except for the tipping part and where to pay, way before the age of ten.


I was an adult before I knew what fork to use when…ok, maybe I still don’t know :o :whistle:


We expect “restaurant manners” at home, because we don’t think it is fair to take them out someplace exciting and then change all the rules. We also don’t allow them to use words like “yucky” to describe food that is not literally rotten or otherwise unfit for human consumption. They aren’t forced to eat anything, but they are required to try everything. They are allowed to say when something “isn’t my favorite” or when it has some serious problem with it. Otherwise, they have to talk about the food in ways that is considerate of the feelings of those who did the work to serve it.

The dinner table is also a great place to practice the rules of conversation, including listening, turn-taking, and keeping your voice at a level that can be heard by those at your table but not by everyone within twenty yards who is not stone deaf.


I remember my dad explaining the tippping and how to know where to pay when I was about eight. When I was about ten my mom explained taught me how to plan a menu for a nice company dinner, how to set the table properly, etc. When I was 14 she sent me to a finishing school for about 6 months where they even taught us how to drink and smoke like a lady. Not sure if she knew that was a part of the curriculum. Although, I would have to admit, although I have good manners (most of the time), you would never guess that I have been to finishing school because I am so laid back.

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