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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lessons in table manners can start as early as age 3

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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How to eat in public: Elizabeth Shaw, Parenting magazine's executive editor, says it's never too early.

"If you want your lessons to stick, start encouraging polite behavior, like using a napkin and passing dishes instead of reaching across the table, by age 5. Moms should remember, though, that good restaurant behavior, like staying seated at the table and eating politely, largely depends on individual temperament. Some kids have it down pat by age 3, others could still struggle at 6."

How to wash their hands: With swine flu still floating around, now's a good time to hammer home the importance of properly washing one's hands.

By doing it regularly, it becomes a habit and not a chore, Shaw says. "Incorporate hand-washing while potty-training your toddler, and the habit is sure to stick."