14/08/2014 12:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Are Table Manners Outdated?

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The end of etiquette? Study finds table manners are outdated

Most Brits think traditional table manners are old-fashioned and lead to unnecessary arguments, according to new research into mealtime etiquette.

As a result 94 per cent of people think existing table manners need updating to suit the modern family.

Three quarters of the parents questioned admitted they enforced table manners simply because they were passed down by their parents – and not because they believe they are important for fostering happy family meals.

In fact, observing the rules - or trying to! - actually cause arguments and tension at the dinner table with parents barking instructions at their kids, rather than enjoying the food and company.

The table manners parents hate enforcing the most are:

1. You must finish everything on your plate
2. Keep quiet
3. Don't eat with your hands/use your knife and fork properly
4. Chew your food properly
5. Keep your elbows off the table

The mealtime instructions kids hate hearing most are:

1. Don't play with your food
2. Keep quiet
3. Don't eat with your hands/use your knife and fork properly
4. Don't leave the table until everyone is finished
5. Keep your elbows off the table

As a result of the study commissioned by Goodfella's Pizza, over 10,000 British parents and 1,000 kids were asked what rules they believe should be observed at mealtimes to create a new dining code of conduct.

The most popular suggestions were:
1. You should try anything new once, then if you don't like it you don't have to eat it any more
2. Hold your knife and fork however you feel more comfortable
3. Talking is compulsory
4. It's fine to eat with your hands
5. It's OK to get messy
6. It's fine to have the TV on in the background, as long as everyone is enjoying their time together
7. Don't ask to be excused; wait until everyone is finished and enjoy each other's company rather than running off to your room/do work/talk on the phone/start washing up etc.

Are you a traditionalist when it comes to manners or do you write your own rules? Let us know in the comments section below.

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