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Am I being petty about table manners?

msg1986's picture

Ss5 is generally pretty well behaved, he has a few issues but nothing worth writing about but for some reason he cannot grasp the concept of eating with his mouth closed/refraining from speaking with his mouth full of food... I won't even get started on how he struggles w/ using a fork/spoon. At this age I feel like he should know that this is unacceptable but lets be real here, he's w/ bm during the week and I doubt she enforces these rules. In the past Dh has fought me on this saying he thinks it's not a big deal but this weekend I feel like he seen the light as far as how Ss is lacking in the table manners dept... we went to breakfast and Ss asked to taste Dh's coffee, Dh said ok and gave him a spoonful to show him what it tasted like. Ss took the coffee in his mouth, leaned back and it seemed like he swallowed it, about a minute later he slowly leaned over and spit the coffee back into Dh's cup... It was disgusting. SOOOO after that fiasco I brought up the eating w/ the mouth open again to Dh because now not only is Ss eating/talking with his mouth full of food he is now smacking his lips so not only can you see his food floating around his mouth, you can now hear it. So Dh FINALLY FINALLY agreed that he'd get on him about it but that was after an argument where he tried to justify not saying anything because his mom never had a problem with it. He says he'll address it but we'll see...

I guess I am writing because he made me feel like I'm being petty and I want to know what you ladies & gents think... When I was growing up my brothers and I never ate with our mouth open or spoke w/ food in our mouth, my dad was hardcore about this rule and I remember getting a pinch or a smack a few times to reinforce that smacking my lips like a cow wasn't okay. I hear a lot here about Skids having horrid table manners, so do you think I'm being petty about this issue??? I don't want Dh to think I'm trying to attack Ss because I'm not, I'm going to be on Dd's butt as soon as possible also... I think just think it's a disgusting habit.


PeanutandSons's picture

I think it should be addressed for sure..... But with the understanding that he still is at an agr where most, if not all, kids are still learning and needing reminders. Its going to take him longer because he isnt getting constant reenforcement, so be prepared to have some patience. But he should be corrected when he forgets.

msg1986's picture

@Rising haha yeah the coffee thing was crazy, my initial thougth was that I wanted to laugh but then I thought 'wow, that's not good!' lol

that's a great idea about positive reinforcement, I thought about this weekend but I wasn't sure how to go about that, do you have any suggestions? i though about discussing w/ Dh about like a treat, he really loves bubble gum, but I wasn't sure if that's a good idea as it's probably not great for his teeth...

PeanutandSons's picture

I wouldn't turn it into a ”gimmee” type reward tyle situation. Reward him with praise. Oh ss, I am so proud that you remebered to chew witb your mouth closed all meal..... Ss, you are such z big boy, I did NT have to remind at all about eating with your fingers today!.... Stuff like that.

And if you do offer a physical reward on occasion, alwzys offer it after he doex well, never before the meal as a bribe.

Id start with one behavior at a time.....if you hit hi with all the rules at once he will never remeber and just frustrate everyone.

msg1986's picture

oh yeah, I totally agree that it will take time and he's definately at the age where it does happen and he needs reminding. I just feel like Dh should get on him now so that eventually he'll learn and it'll be good for him in the long run.

momagainfor4's picture

it's called parenting. I don't get how some people DON'T get it!!! of course he should be corrected. if not then how in the hell will he ever figure out how to eat correctly?? you are right. don't feel bad!!

msg1986's picture

I love your thoughts on this. I've been reminding Ss frequently about chewing with his mouth closed etc and maybe I shouldn't make it so frequent as I don't want to come off as a jerk wad lol.

You are right though, I may be expecting too much Ss is only with us every weekend so of course time is limited and I don't think Bm really cares so yes, I do need to be realistic. Dh seemed to finally agree though when I asked him if he thinks it's going to be cute when Ss is 14 years old doing the same thing... finally he got the point. Smile

I love that idea of telling him "I'd love to hear the rest when you have finished chewing with your mouth closed."

Tuff Noogies's picture

i do a combination of reminders and avoidance. the 'offenders' in my case are 10 and 13 for crying out loud!

at home, if i'm buzzing around the kitchen, i will call them out on it every time. not in a mean way, but each and every time single time that i am present i WILL call them out. "puhleeeeez chew with your mouth closed." "i couldnt understand you- finish chewing and ask me again." but i do not eat with them. i simply cant stomach it. (i dont make it obvious tho', i just happen to always be busy when they eat, and i'll plate mine up later. DH doesnt eat with them either, but that's cuz he's too busy catering... so it's not blatant that i dont sit w/ them either.)

when we do eat out, i just zone out and people watch, or focus on how truly yummy my own food is. OSS usually just refuses to go with us due to their lack of manners. in that sort of setting it becomes SO much more obvious if DH is slacking or not backing me up, which does more harm than good. so i let him deal with it (he does, maybe 50% of the time)