/ Kids and cutlery

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JEF on 19 Sep 2016
Why can't kids use a knife and fork these days?
I was recently in the company of an 11 year old who didn't cut anything up. He would chew food off the fork until either it fell in his lap or he finished it. Then he'd repeat with another item, and this was how he dealt with an entire meal.
He's at secondary school but can't feed him himself !
1
john arran - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

On the plus side there's less washing up to do ;-)
Wry Spudding on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

Hmm, adults these days; they make a sweeping generalisation on the basis of a single observation. Would never have happened in my day

It's probably nothing to get too worked up about (although the daily wail probably has a checklist of this and other indications of our society's decline).
2
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

Oh, they easily can, they just decide not to, as it is an excellent way to piss off their parents!

Example 2, my son (aged 13): Hold knife in right hand, fork in left to chop everything in handy pieces, then drop the knife, switch the fork to the right hand, give everything an almighty stir on the plate, then slowly gobble everything up.

Then, importantly, argue that it is much more practical to do it his way (sometimes even when we do not tell him to eat properly). In a way this has become a ritual, or even a sport.

We know he can use his cutlery perfectly well, as he will do it when the grandparents are visiting. Inshallah he will grow out of it, eventually. Puberty really is the invention of the devil!

CB
JEF on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Wry Spudding:

Not worked up, just bemused.
wintertree - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:

> sometimes even when we do not tell him to eat properly

What is "proper" about using a fork in the left hand whilst simultaneously using a knife in the right hand?

4
Timmd on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to wintertree:
> What is "proper" about using a fork in the left hand whilst simultaneously using a knife in the right hand?

It's convention to, but I get your point that there's nothing inherently proper about eating like that.
Post edited at 18:13
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to wintertree:

How old are you, 12? (insert smiley here).

Table manners are just one arbitrary tradition or convention out of many, but being able to adhere to these conventions is essential if you want to progress in society (just think job interview, or the first visit to your girlfriend's parents.....).

I absolutely admit that these rules often are not logical (as my son never fails to point out...)

CB
1
wintertree - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:

> How old are you, 12? (insert smiley here).

When it comes to table manners...

> Table manners are just one arbitrary tradition or convention out of many, but being able to adhere to these conventions is essential if you want to progress in society (just think job interview, or the first visit to your girlfriend's parents.....).

I used my spoon left handed at the meal with the interview panel and other candidates and still got my job...

> I absolutely admit that these rules often are not logical (as my son never fails to point out...)

So as long as he understands when it's needed to follow them and when it isn't, there's no problem swapping knife and fork! Cast asside the mental reigns from the Victorians, go on try it...

2
Lusk - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:

Did you ask your wife's father if you could take her hand in marriage?
or if not married, do you ask him if you can walk out with his daughter?
Flinticus - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

Try getting a 9 month old puppy to to use them!

She even pulls food out of her bowl to eat in another part of the kitchen.
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to wintertree:

I donīt mind a bit of flexibility (e.g. I usually replace my table knife with my properly sharp outdoor knife when eating a steak), but I do believe that the ability to follow cutlery conventions when the situation fits is a part of a cultured, social lifestyle.

This extends to other things around the table as well, e.g. which wine should accompany a given dish (although that is more complicated than the old, rigid rules of fish --> white, meat or cheese --> red), which glass for which type of wine, how to filet a fish or crack a lobster, etc....

CB
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Lusk:

No. We just called them to tell them they will be grandparents soonish, and should get themselves in shape for a wedding in four weekīs time (we wanted to marry because of the ridiculous paternity regulations for unmarried couples still in force in Germany at the time: If my wife had died, I would have had to apply to court to adopt my own son... The rush was for tax reasons: We could claim back the income tax from my rather meagre PhD salary for the entire year with a Dec. 28th civil wedding). The proper wedding in church then was one and a half years later with a small kid running around, and two of my male friends dressed up in full drag stealing the first dance of the evening in front of all the elderly relatives...

Just because you value some traditions doesn't mean you have to be stuffy,

CB
1
felt - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

> Not worked up, just bemused.

Don't worry, you're very much at the Corbyn end of the martial spirit. Why, in olden days soldiers used to fight wars for kids and cutlery.
2
JEF on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to felt:

> Don't worry, you're very much at the Corbyn end of the martial spirit. Why, in olden days soldiers used to fight wars for kids and cutlery.

Eh?
RockAngel on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

When we first moved to the uk (in 1983) we stayed with ano old school friend of my mum's. One evening he ordered pizza and of course all 3 of us kids dove in and started eating slices of pizza with our hands. He went mad & we were then made to put each slice onto a plate then carefully cutting it with a knife and fork before eating off the fork. We thought he was mad for eating pizza like that. It was just wrong!
dsh - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to RockAngel:

I always find it strange to use cutlery for pizza.

It's like using a knife and fork to eat a sandwich, there's no need.
3
Philip on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

And I thought my 3 year old was bad using a fork and hand.
> Why can't kids use a knife and fork these days?

> I was recently in the company of an 11 year old who didn't cut anything up. He would chew food off the fork until either it fell in his lap or he finished it. Then he'd repeat with another item, and this was how he dealt with an entire meal.

> He's at secondary school but can't feed him himself !

Bobling - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to RockAngel:

Haha! I love that example. Me to child "No you use your cutlery, unless it is pizza in which case you can eat with your fingers. No there is no sense or logic, these are just the rules, get over it". I am having an ongoing battle with the same child about the eating food in bites off of the fork rather than cutting it up into forkable chunks thing, the reply I always get is "Well they let us eat like this at school!".
abseil on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to RockAngel:

> When we first moved to the uk... all 3 of us kids dove in and started eating slices of pizza with our hands. He went mad....

The opposite happened to me. I was eating pizza in Macy's in New York using a knife and fork. Baby Abseil hissed at me "Dad! Eat it with your hands, everyone'll know you're English!" (I'm English).

I dropped the knife and fork on the table.....
timjones - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:

> I donīt mind a bit of flexibility (e.g. I usually replace my table knife with my properly sharp outdoor knife when eating a steak),

Try eating better quality steak ;)
ian Ll-J - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to abseil:

> I dropped the knife and fork on the table.....

Why do we say 'knife and fork' when it's far more fun to say 'fork and knife' ;-)


abseil on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to ian Ll-J:

> Why do we say 'knife and fork' when it's far more fun to say 'fork and knife' ;-)

Got to be careful in pubs in some cities - "Forkin' knife...." could lead to serious trouble, maybe people who say that are disappearing via natural selection?!
ultrabumbly on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

If this has deteriorated, in some cases, I'd hazard a guess it is due to some families rarely/never eating together at a table.

Our Italian friends love to make spaghetti when we eat with them as they know I can't eat it with just a fork and need a spoon. My mate makes a ritual of issuing remedial utensils to those who need them. Now their youngest kid (6) can do it properly and laugh at the british guy too.
1
aln - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

Because my ex doesn't teach my son how to use cutlery properly. Despite already having taught her previous children how to do so. Despite me attempting to show him how when I have him for meals. He still can't use cutlery
subtle on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

> Why can't kids use a knife and fork these days?

Most kids use chop sticks, why do you insist on fork and knife?
captain paranoia - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

Watching US TV? They don't seem to have any idea how to hold and use a knife and fork properly.
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Timmd on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to ultrabumbly:
> If this has deteriorated, in some cases, I'd hazard a guess it is due to some families rarely/never eating together at a table.

> Our Italian friends love to make spaghetti when we eat with them as they know I can't eat it with just a fork and need a spoon. My mate makes a ritual of issuing remedial utensils to those who need them. Now their youngest kid (6) can do it properly and laugh at the british guy too.



Have you tried twirling the fork to get the spaghetti to gather around it?
Post edited at 17:06

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