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by Abigail Van Buren

Teens Push Back Against Good Table Manners

DEAR ABBY: I am about to be married to a wonderful man who has three teenagers from a previous marriage. His boys are 18 and 16, and his daughter is also 16. They have TERRIBLE table manners, which seem to be encouraged by their grandfather. My fiance has spoken to his dad regarding the unacceptable behavior, yet it continues.

When my fiance tries to enforce common table etiquette, the children ask why the change. Table manners were not part of their upbringing, and they don't see the importance. How do I -- or should I -- attempt to undo 18 years of poor habits? -- EMBARRASSED AT THE TABLE

DEAR EMBARRASSED: Table manners are important. They reveal a lot about someone's upbringing or lack of it. Not knowing the basics can negatively affect not only a person's social life, but also his or her career. You would be doing those young people a huge favor if you speak up and support your fiance in this.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens | Etiquette & Ethics