Help! We need better Table Manners!

Dare I give you a glimpse of what our family dinnertime looks like? It's pretty scary. While we do make sure to all eat together most nights of the week, it's not a relaxing or enriching experience- at least for me!

First, it starts with the howling fight of how everyone wants to sit by Dad. Even with our weekly family award to pick where they sit at the table, it seems everyone else melts and fusses over where they are ending up. 

 Next is the crying of everyone whining they are hungry and to hurry and say the prayer. And then when they hear what's for dinner there are jubilant shouts from some and moaning and groaning from others. Or I'm grabbing the last bit of dinner to bring over to the table, and the kids are impatient. Or sometimes it's the complete opposite and it's like pulling teeth to pull the kids away from their activities to come to the table at all. 

After the meal has begun, the baby always seems to get fussy, so I'm either holding him on my lap, feeding him in his high chair or nursing him on the couch- not eating at all with the family. Once I leave the table, it's even more chaotic. Kids leaving their seats to run off who knows where.

And even if the baby is calm, don't even get me started on the ridiculous conversations about bodily fluids or loud and obnoxious singing by one or many of the children, which then leads to a lot of complaining and fighting.

I've had enough!!  

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So today we are going back in time to try something we haven't done since the kids were tiny. It was a tradition we started and it fizzled within a week. But our family has grown up so much since then. My kids are about 8 years older  (4 of them not even born yet- whoa!!), they are great about holding me to traditions now, and we are in desperation here!!

So here is my plan:

We're going to go back to candlelight. My grandmother had a candle light dinner every night. We loved being invited over as a special guest to her house because we knew we could be the ones to snuff out the candle (Maybe I need to buy a candle snuffer if this all goes well?!).  Tonight after dinner whoever has the best manners is going to be able to blow out the candles at the end of dinner.

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Also, to help with our conversation, I'm getting out this little box of questions one of my dear friends gave me as a gift years and years ago. I still had it up in the cupboard, and my kids are definitely at the ages where we could get some great discussions going. We'll see how many cards we get through.

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Also, to help with our conversation, I'm getting out this little box of questions one of my dear friends gave me as a gift years and years ago. I still had it up in the cupboard, and my kids are definitely at the ages where we could get some great discussions going. We'll see how many cards we get through.