| | Re: Table Manners
I'm single due to divorce, so I don't have a lot of rules for eating, so i will refer to my childhood meals.
We always ate together at the table, but we didn't have any formal rules like placement of utensils. We were always expected to be pulled up to the table so we weren't dropping food in our lap and such. We didn't have to wait until the last one was finished to leave the table, but we were expected to take a reasonable amount of time to eat before leaving, and then ask to be excused. We kids weren't allowed to just swallow it whole and run back out to play in two minutes.
We were not allowed snacks for an hour or so before supper because it would "ruin our appetite." We were also expected to eat a reasonable portion of the meal before us. We couldn't say "I'm not hungry" and skip sitting at the table. We weren't forced to eat, but we still had to sit at the table, and if we skimped during meal time, we weren't allowed any snacks before bed time.
We had to eat balanced portions. We couldn't take four pork chops and no vegetables, for example. We were also not allowed to take the last portion of a food without asking. Oh, and no talking with your mouth full!
One of the things that brings a chuckle to me today was "no singing at the table." That doesn't mean that someone tried to perform a concert at each meal, but if someone was humming or softly mouthing the words to a song that was stuck in their head, an adult would say, "don't be singing at the table." that wasn't just our rule; i think that was just a rural thing. My grandparent's generation was big on this.
These were things we knew and it didn't have to be addressed often.