Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Nature, Nurture or Neither?

The argument is always there isn’t it? Nature or nurture, which is biggest at play in how we as people are shaped. Sometimes though I do think it can be neither!! What’s prompted my train of thought I hear you all cry……..well maybe your not all thinking that but I’m going to tell you anyway!


I have a younger brother, he is 5 1/2 years younger than me and other than bread and gravy with Sunday dinner (I was never allowed it, he was!!!!), we were brought up very similarly and were taught the same values by our parents. Thing is though, we share gene’s and we were brought up the same yet we are so different. In the main I am talking about how we do things here rather than personality.

 dinner table by chatirygirl @

Ok, take, for instance, table manners. I remember as a child that we had to stay at the table until everyone had finished and we were either told to leave, or we asked and were given permission to leave the table. The only times I remember being excused before everyone finished, was if we were ill. I think that is the way it should be. That way no one feels rushed or abandoned just because they eat slower. I have therefore passed this down to my children. I admit I leave the table while they eat pudding, as I do the washing up, but can still see them and have a conversation with them, and B knows she doesn’t get down until I clean up H and get her down from the table.


Thing is, when we go to my parents for tea, my brother leaves when he is done. He sits, eats his dinner, takes his plate to the kitchen and disappears. On Sunday’s if the girls are with us, he stays at the table mainly because we asked him to due to B asking why he got to leave the table. Now, it’s their house and my parents are fine with him doing so, but today as I sat having eaten dinner, and my brother was sat on the sofa reading the paper, and Mum and Dad were still eating. I found myself thinking that I would never ever leave the table while people are still eating! Not at my own house, not at someone else’s house. I would just feel as if I was being very rude. Now this maybe because at my house I’m the hostess. At other people’s houses I am the guest. Whereas my brother lives at home, but he isn’t the host, as I am sure he wouldn’t do it at a friends.


What rules do you have for meal times? Do you eat at the table as a family? Have you brought any rules with you from childhood into your life as a parent? I’d love to know what your views are!


May 2, 2010 - Posted by | Parenting | ,


  1. I was brought up to not leave the table unless everyone was finnished. Even then we had to ask to be excused.

    So it is the same with the boys

    Comment by TheMadHouse | May 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. LOL-cause I have a nature vs. nurture post in draft.

    Think it is a bit of both.

    Comment by Susie | May 2, 2010 | Reply

    • Hahaha, I look forward to having a read!

      Comment by supersinglemum | May 2, 2010 | Reply

      • We always make the kids stay at the table until everyone’s done. If we don’t whoevers left tends to rush the rest of their meal or just say they’re full.

        I love eating together at the table and wouldn’t have it any other way x

        Comment by Magic Mummy | May 3, 2010 | Reply

        • It supposedly is dying out, eating at the table – but I find that so hard to believe as most people I know still do it unless space in the house is an issue!! Glad I’m not alone!

          Comment by supersinglemum | May 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. When I was younger we always stayed at the table until everyone had finished, we still do now.

    If and when I have kids that’s the way it is going to be too.

    You wouldn’t get up in a restaurant and go and sit in the car before someone else had finished so why do it at home?

    Comment by Anna | May 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Hahaha, great mental image of someone doing that in therestaurant “I’ll meet you in the car when your done – don’t forget to pay!” 🙂

      Comment by supersinglemum | May 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. If we do all get to eat together, rare now as two of my children are older and do their own meals, we always wait for everyone to finish. Aswell as being good manners its also due to the fact that we are all chatting so fact we often stay at the table long after the meal has finished debating the merits of one topic or another. i have been a guest at other peoples houses where they have left the table when I gave still been eating and found it very uncomfortable. needless to say i dont go back to those. d.xx

    Comment by millionaireangel | May 4, 2010 | Reply

  5. I think it’s a nurture thing! Eating together like such is something I never did as a child, nor do now with my own child!

    However if I had room for a table in this house – which I don’t, I’d like to think I’d sit at it with D and eat together. But then again, we don’t always eat the same meals. I quite like the idea of eating time being a catch up time on each others lives.

    Personally I don’t fully agree with the “stay at the table til everyones done” thing though. My mum used to eat SOOOOOO slow!! (well she still does). I swear I’d be finished a 3 course meal and she’d probably just be starting the main…

    D’s dad is in the T.A. and was when we were together and I never joined him for any army do’s as I don’t believe in not being able to leave the table when you want to!

    Talking about eating and what not though, I’ll tell you something that DOES wind me up… when you go out for a meal with a few friends, and say I’m still eating and the other two have finished. The waiter coming up and removing the two finished meals!! Oh man that winds me up rotten. I believe THAT to be highly rude. It’s basically interrupting us, and also making me feel pressure to hurry up, AND it makes me look to others like I’m eating and my mates haven’t! I believe in restaurants plates should be cleared when everyone is done that course. Anyone else feel this or is that just me?! LOL.

    Comment by Louise @ WeeWifie's World | May 12, 2010 | Reply

    • No completely agree with the restaurant thing!!!!!

      Comment by supersinglemum | May 12, 2010 | Reply

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