When it comes to keeping young children’s table manners up to scratch, parents seem to have a lot on their plate these days.
But it appears youngsters have now gained the upper hand in the battle for good behaviour during family meals.
For a new study has found more than half of British children do not eat with a knife and fork.
A staggering 54 per cent of parents with children aged four to ten admit their children do not use a knife and fork properly at meal times.
A new study has found more than half of British children do not eat with a knife and fork
And 60 per cent of youngsters often eat with just their hands, while nearly a fifth will lick their plate given the chance.
The study, by children’s cutlery maker doddl, also found 28 per cent of parents admit their children talk with their mouths full, which they would have been told off for doing at the same age.
The study of 1,500 parents found this has effects beyond the family table – as 23 per cent often feel humiliated when at a restaurant with their children.
Additionally 46 per cent let youngsters watch TV at the table and 35 per cent let them play with a tablet or phone at meal times.
Stacey Zimmels, a speech and language therapist specialising in paediatric feeding, said: ‘The onset of portable screens has replaced the family mealtime in many households’, meaning children ‘can be less exposed to a varied diet and have no demonstration of how to use cutlery’.