Meals with Character
Family meals are full of opportunities to teach your child good character traits. If you do not have sit-down meals because of busy schedules, it would be good to start scheduling some now.
The dinner table is an ideal place to work on manners, such as saying “Please” and “Thank you.” You can also teach your child to wait until all family members are seated before your child starts eating. In addition, you can teach taking turns and politeness in passing food. If someone asks for a dish, your son should pass it before serving himself.
We also want our children to think of others and what their needs are. If your child goes for the last piece of chicken, you might ask him, “I wonder if anyone else wants more chicken too. Why don’t you ask?” In addition, you may raise a topic to get him thinking. For example, explain how when you make meals for the family, you consider different people’s favorite foods. You could say, “I made carrots tonight because it is your favorite vegetable. Do you remember which one your sister likes best? We could have that tomorrow.”
Finally, an obvious teaching moment is to have your child participate in the dinner prep and clean-up. He might make a salad while your daughter sets the table. Still, another child takes the dishes and places them in the dishwasher or sink. Ask him why it is a good idea to have everyone participate in dinner prep and clean-up. Help him to understand that the more the family pitches in the more time they can spend together.