CHAPTER 3: Setting the Table " Did I tell you how much we love to wash dishes in my family? After each holiday, it is the gathering place for all the women as we take each plate and lovingly wash it by hand. My mom especially. She comes from a time and place where there were no dishwashers, and everything must be cleaned up before you go to bed, even pots. Here is another opportunity to provide good home training and an efficient system. It makes good sense to grow up in a home where dishes are washed, and the kitchen is cleaned. Tables wiped off, counters wiped down, and sink cleaned. These are the skills you want your kid to know so that they can be successful in things other than a job. Taking care of home and self really count. I also like the smells and sounds of dishes clinking and hot sudsy water flowing over the plates, thinking absently about the day ahead or reflecting on the day passed."
CHAPTER 5: The school of Manners "I remember a challenging time when my son was on the basketball circuit at a young age, which meant he was eating out all day, every day during the summer at practices and traveling with the team, (a band of adolescent boys and coaches) that may not have encouraged polite eating. So, I had to gently redirect his table manners, (which included both hands in the food and talking while eating, in gulps with his mouth open). Helping your kids know how to be socially appropriate while eating will come in handy when they eat out with friends or begin their professional careers. Below are a few tips on how to get the kids up to speed in your personal school of manners. Sitting down and sharing a meal takes time, but it is time well spent with the family teaching kids valuable lessons they will use throughout life. (These may sound old school, OK, yeah, they are.) These are ideas you may want to instill in your children by making them family rules."
CHAPTER 6: Dinner & Conversations "Another good topic for dinner table and family gatherings is “What about tomorrow?” Modern and daily lives today require lots of coordination. Who needs black pants for the winter concert? What dish do I need to bring for choir rehearsal, who has dental appointment and I have to pick them up early? So many things. Oh yeah, who has a game or play practice tomorrow? which often drove the daily activities in my family during the teen years. These short discussions on what is coming up tomorrow is something that is always kept on a kitchen calendar, and everyone can add their Dinner & Conversation 65 events to the calendar. Getting the kids involved in what the family priority is for the week can also bring a sense of closeness as everyone pitches in to accomplish the family goals. This is teaching your child responsibility with planning, organization, and promptness. The more you make this routine, the easier your weeks will flow."