“How do you know he won’t fall out?”
“I wish my kid had table manners like that.”
When our son Joseph (now almost 3) was 18 months old, he already had a grip on basic table manners. Yes, he can be a hooligan while eating just like any other child, and of course he had (and still has) his moments of devil-may-care table antics. . . but he was at 18 months able to:
- sit still, with good posture
- use a fork and a spoon (and fingers)
- drink from a cup
- and wipe his face and hands with a napkin during and when finished eating.
- And he can tell us when he is “all done.”
We rarely if ever spoon feed him (only sometimes when he is really really tired) and he also knows to clean up messes that he makes. He loves to wipe the table, even if at this point, he doesn’t get it very clean.
He has these skills because we have been enabling him to learn and use them since he began eating solid foods around 6-7 months. We allowed our child to learn these skills by presenting him with the means to discover his own abilities through a Montessori-inspired presentation and nurture of table skills.
We have thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted as a family from the use of a method that allows real baby-led weaning: the choice to choose foods and eat them at will, in a comfortable and empowering physical environment.
If you would like to read more, please visit my full post on Toddler Table Manners: A Montessori-Inspired
Approach on amywilla.com. The full post has information about introducing a napkin and using utensils, too!