Good manners on Fleek
tips for Teaching your kids manners
﷯“Merit, even of the highest, without a corresponding good manner, is like a flower without perfume or a tree without leaves.”—M. E. W. Sherwood in her book Etiquette: The American Code of Manners In 1884, Etiquette, The American Code of Manners was written to encourage children how to take their place in the world. The book consisted of 31 chapters of detailed instructions for all areas of society where good manners are needed. Of course, many of those chapters seem a little outdated today, but the general context of the book still applies. All children need a positive influence in their lives, not only to build a healthy self-esteem, but also to have guidelines for interacting with other children and adults. While writing my children’s etiquette book, First-Class Etiquette, whenever I was dining in a restaurant, I kept an eye out for children with good manners. Unfortunately, this was not usually the case, and it saddened me. Fred Astaire, the famous American dancer and actor, made the comment, “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” So, as parents and grandparents, we are the obvious role models for good manners. ﷯The best place to start with manners and etiquette is at home during family mealtime. As a nation, we are in the car a great deal of the time and a whole generation now think it is normal to consume fast-food meals in the car or in front of a television. I encourage you to sit together as a family around the kitchen or dining room table for meals and do this as often as possible. *Studies have proven that having a habit of shared family meals not only improves nutrition, but also improves academic performance. Other benefits of family dining are increasing your child’s interpersonal skills and greatly decreasing the risk of eating disorders and drug and alcohol use. Using polite words, encouraging good table manners, and being kind to one another will form the foundation for positive growth in your child. While there are hundreds of books and instructional aids to use in your home, the following are the basics to help your child have positive social etiquette, both at home and in public. Practice at home and give positive reinforcement when your child responds in a positive way. If correction is needed, don’t wait to let him or her know their action was inappropriate. Make sure you are sensitive to your children, speak to them privately so as not to embarrass them. 10 Top Table Manner Rules Wash your hands before coming to the table. Whether using a paper or cloth napkin, place on your lap before beginning the meal. Don’t start eating until all family members are seated and grace has been said. Ask for food to be passed, don’t reach across the table to grab what you want. Say “please” and “thank you” when someone has passed the food to you. Chew with your mouth closed, and don’t talk with food in your mouth. Keep elbows and other body parts off the table. Keep your bottom to the seat of your chair and feet on the floor. Asked to be excused if you need to leave the table. Always thank the person who made the meal – Mom included! 10 Top Manners of Etiquette Always say “Please” and “Thank you” when someone does something nice for you. Don’t interrupt. If you need to get someone’s attention, the polite way is to say, “Excuse me.” Always knock on closed doors before you enter. Don’t make fun of or gang up on someone because they are different from you. Always say, “Excuse me” if you do something insensitive, like bump into them, or cut into a conversation. Cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough, and never pick your nose in public. When meeting a new person, look them in the eye, and extend your hand, smile and say, “Hello, my name is Mary. It is nice to meet you.” Use your inside voice while in the house or a building. Take turns when playing a game or entering a room. Listen to Mom or Dad and do what they say. Teach your child the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12, ESV). “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the﷯ Law and the Prophets.” Good manners are essentially behaving in such a way that others will feel comfortable. As Christian parents and grandparents, our conduct should pave the way for our children. The very same principles of child rearing that we received from our parents to help shape us into the people we are today, needs to extend to our children. In this electronic and technical world in which our children live, there is always the need for loving and encouraging instruction of politeness and social graces. Manners are all about respect and virtue for self and others. Remember to be a good role model as our children look to us for their example. *University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Eisenberg, 2004 This article was featured on TheMomInitiative.com. For etiquette tips and more, check out Penelope's blog HERE.
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Penelope Carlevato 2838 Fig St., Lakewood, Colorado 80228 PenelopesTeaTime@gmail.com www.penelopecarlevato.com Copyright 2017 – Penelope Carlevato Social media shares and likes are appreciated, but please do not reprint on another site or in print without expressed written consent of Mrs. Carlevato. Website and Social Media branding, art direction, design and editorial services by Amber Weigand-Buckley @Barefacedgirldesigns & editorial services -2017-