The Practicing Parent: Dos and don'ts at the dinner table

The holidays are approaching, which could mean holiday dinners with family. As we know, Practicing Parents, meals with kids can be messy in more ways than one. But, going back to the basics may be just what your family needs to help keep your kids on their best behavior at holiday dinners.

Image and etiquette expert Tia Young believes manners are a lost art. That's why she teaches image and etiquette classes, helping kids learn the what she calls, "the right way to dine."

Young dishes out the dos and the don'ts for fine dining:

Don't put condiments on your food until after the first bite.

Don't bring electronics to the table.

Don't mix your food together.

Don't pick your teeth.

Do wait until everyone is seated until you begin to eat.

Do put the napkin in your lap.

Do chew with your mouth closed.

Do put the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand when cutting. Cut the food and then put the knife with the rugged edges toward you then switch the fork to the right hand to eat.

Do ask for things politely

Do say "please" and "thank you"

Young says children younger than five years old probably aren't ready to do fine dining. She says to start with a fast food restaurant and practicing fine dining at home.

Young says minding manners at an early age will help kids bring something to the table later in life.