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Teaching our Children Manners "Thank You Very Much"

Good manners, social skills and etiquette are as important now as they were years ago when they were not only practiced, but EXPECTED. We all want our children to grow into charming and respectful young adults who have the confidence needed to interact with people from all walks of life. Clearly, the best way to achieve this is through etiquette and social skills classes for children. Unfortunately in today’s world most values and skills need to be taught as they are not found on the street or on the television. We must actually supervise television so that so much of the unacceptable behavior that children will see on many programs can be limited. It’s a shame, but very true. I have visited many schools grades K-12 and I always see the same thing. Children pushing and shoving on cafeteria food lines, boys cutting in front of the girls, yelling, and many young children using totally inappropriate language. “Sheer rudeness and unacceptable behavior.” Our children are being raised in a world today where there are many confusing and mixed messages as to what is “right” and what is “wrong.” Children are not born with manners. This is something that is taught to them and a perfect way to start is by trying to instill lessons of old fashioned civility and even chivalry to our children. I have even seen nanny’s take classes who wanted to polish up their social skills so they would in turn be able to pass it on to their children. My classes start by teaching the simple basics. “Polite is Right”. They learn how to greet friends or adults by making eye contact with a friendly handshake. They learn that interrupting is rude, how to set a table properly, wear clean clothes, hold the door for others, pull out a chair for a lady, or give a simple hello to a stranger. Etiquette is trying to make a small comeback as it is desperately needed. Texting and Instagram have replaced face-to-face conversations. Handwritten thank you notes have become a lost art. “You know, the old hand written kind.” Today’s society has become way to casual. Peer pressure has never been greater, role models are lacking, and reality TV shows present outrageous and obnoxious behavior as being the norm. We never want our children to feel awkward and uncomfortable when being put into a new situation or with meeting new people. Being mannerly makes you a better person, more relaxed, and confident as well as feeling less nervous and insecure. Not only will it make them feel better about themselves, but others will like them more as well. An American Association of University of Women survey found that 60% of elementary students were happy with themselves but sadly by Jr. High only 29% were happy with themselves. Similar studies found that boys had almost the same results. Studies also show that children with no confidence or self-esteem end up turning down the wrong roads while trying to find acceptance and popularity. When you treat others with respect it shows you respect yourself and everyone benefits. Recently as I was going into a store a young boy held the door open for me, to my surprise, not only did I forget how lovely it felt, but it was even nicer seeing how proud he felt about his first-rate behavior. It seems that we have all forgotten over time how special good manners can make us all feel. Etiquette, good manners and fundamental values will only help children become the young ladies and gentlemen we know they can be. Learning these valuable skills should start as early as possible. If you want to polish up your little stars for a lot of shine, then one of these programs will be perfect for them!

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