I've learned that the more kids you add to your family the more the disgusting table manners matter. One kid throwing food on the floor, eating with his mouth wide open, and getting up from table whenever he pleases even in the middle of dinner is doable. FOUR kids acting this way is enough to put you over the edge.
We have made charts with good behavior and bad behavior. Didn't work.
We have threatened to sit in time out. Didn't work.
We have made them leave the table with no dinner. …. Now that actually worked and I swear Cayden will never ever complain about what I give him for dinner again because of the one night I sent him to bed with no dinner. He acted like I had cut his toe off and was pulling his nerves out one by one. He was dramatic about the whole thing. I bet he never complains again though!
Recently we have discovered something that makes my kids want to behave at the table. We call it the manner candle and for kids like Cayden it is golden. He loves a challenge and getting rewards for good behavior. My other kids sometimes can't see that far in advance to value the reward, but for some reason this is actually working.
The MANNER CANDLE is golden and when I light it everyone is on their best behavior. Here's how it goes down. When we are all sitting down for dinner we light the manner candle and it stays lit until someone has bad manners. We are a team and this is a team competition, which means we all pay for one persons bad manners. I think all kids except for Cayden have caused the candle to be blown out, and I'm guessing Cayden never will because he's just that kid that loves to follow rules. Gotta love him for that one.
Don't even start to think I came up with this on my own. Oh no, this is another lovely jewel from Pintrest. Now you are asking, what's the reward. Why keep the candle lit each night. Well when that candle gets to the very bottom and goes out the whole Ivey family gets up and goes for ice cream. Yes that's right, we're trying to be spontaneous and let me tell you spontaneity with the kids gives me anxiety. Straight up sweaty palm anxiety.
So, if you are looking to encourage your kids to behave properly at the table give the manner candle a try. Sometimes my kids even pretend there's one burning at restaurants. This weekend we pretended there was one and Deacon even pretended to blow it out. They are brain washed for sure and can only behave at the table if there is a manner candle, even if it's in their imagination.
Now that I think about it, I've scarred them for life once again. They can only behave if they believe there's a candle lit around them! Lovely, Jamie.