01 March 2015

Day 27: Table Manners

I recently read one of those funny articles about Germans and their habits. It was called 26 signs you were born and raised in Germany. Some of these are plain funny, other could come from any other country in the world (mostly), and a few are very German habits indeed. So is #1, which states that table manners are very important to us as Germans (and to our parents).
Oh, it is so true. My parents were very adamant at teaching my brother and me proper table manners. Now as a child, I only thought of it as annoying and obviously unnecessary. Today as a parent myself, living in a country where this is less important, I find myself sounding like my mother! It has become very crucial to me to instill good table manners in my children, knowing they won't see it much around them. In a country where finger foods are not only common among children, it is hard to stand firm on the importance of being able to use fork and knife. So my parental mission is just that: to instill proper (German) table manners.

Undoubtedly, I don't believe that children should not be taught to operate a knife properly. It is, after all, part of the table manners. Now one starts with a child-friendly knife, small and dull. So my children got handed a knife at a very young age, just like this one: Gerber Graduates Cutlery. Then we worked on learning to use a real butter knife. And so on..... Today, I have my five year old cut the bread with a real bread knife, my eight year old cuts all his meats by himself, and as you can see, my two year old is very busy practicing her skills with the knife because she wants to be just like the older ones.