Dining etiquette is just as important for children as it is for adults. We have to learn somewhere, and home is a safe place. As children grow and move into college and career, it becomes more important for them to know basic business and dining etiquette. Job interviews, business events, conferences and formal or social gatherings will likely require some basic etiquette knowledge.

Life can get hectic when you have children. They are involved in sports, dance, theater and any number of other activities. Running from soccer practice to dance lessons any given night of the week hinders a mom’s ability to cook a full meal let alone set a proper table. So if you pile silverware in the middle of the table at dinnertime, don’t worry about it.

Use weekends — Sunday dinner if that happens in your house — to teach table manners. Keep everything simple by using a casual or informal place setting. Assign the task of setting the table to one of your children. This teaches a valuable lesson from early on. It also provides children with a solid foundation and skill set that can be built upon as they grow and start thinking about careers.

— NIKI DAVIS 

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