I just read an interesting article about how some parents are outsourcing etiquette lessons for their kids. In the article they interview a restaurant owner who hosts a family night where kids are welcome, but are expected to behave and the owner personally enforces the rules.
A link to the full article: Eat, Drink, and Be Nice - Teaching Children MannersThe place is Chenery Park, a restaurant with low lights, cloth napkins, $24 grilled salmon and “family night” every Tuesday. Children are welcome, with a catch: They are expected to behave — and to watch their manners, or learn them. Think upscale dining with training wheels.... etiquette experts say that new approaches are needed because parents no longer have the stomach, time or know-how to play bad cop and teach manners. Dinnertime has become a free-for-all in many households, with packed family schedules, the television on in the background and a modern-day belief of many parents that they should simply let children be children.
This is pretty intriguing to me. I would love a venue outside of the home to take chitlins to for such an experience. We have been working with Sprout (the 12-year old boy) on how to hold a fork and other table manners. No one has bothered to teach him basic manners, like not eating all his food with his hands or chewing with his mouth shut, in his life yet, or to enforce the few things he does know.
It is kind of annoying that more parents don't take the time to teach manners these days. Does anyone have thoughts on a restaurant, or other public/private venues, schooling children (and parents) on proper etiquette?