Parents Can Teach Manners, Too.
Many parents often warn they are close to dropping their kids off at my house for a lesson in manners! I think that is a wonderful compliment. More importantly, it just goes to show the ageless act of choosing courtesy over rudeness isn’t dead. In fact, with all the negativity and senselessness we see marching our streets and across our televisions, it’s no wonder why the timeless principles of etiquette make their way to the stage over and over again.
Meeting up with me to direct a manners lesson is a fantastic option if one wishes to give kids an opportunity to build confidence and poise for future success. However, getting this done can be hard. How do you add one more activity to your already overbooked calendar?
While you wait for Mother Time to grant more hours in a day to accomplish all that is necessary, you have options for directing your own manners program. It starts at home and with good practice, you will see first-hand that good manners bring about the best in people.
Be the Director of Your Own Childs’ Manners
You can set the stage for good manners by directing yourself to a mirror and asking, “Am I leading by example”? Likely you are, but we must stay in perspective all the time if we want this to work. If you desire your kids to have better table manners, then make sure you have impeccable table manners. If you wish for kids to chew with their mouth closed, then you must do the same! I know plenty of adults who don’t lead by example and yet continually fuss over their kid’s manners. “Hello, what do you expect?” is all I can think of, which is as good a caution for me as for anyone else!
Knowledge in Manners Equals Power
It makes for an easier sell when you educate yourself first before attempting to educate the youth. There are several resources in libraries, on the internet and in book stores to help guide you through wide ranging subjects from how to set a formal table to the etiquette guidelines for traveling in foreign countries. Share these resources with your kids and make learning an adventurous “team” effort.
Invest in Your Kids
Enrolling children in a class that teaches the art of manners and principles is as important as signing them up for extra-curricular activities such as sports and music. Frankly, how in the world can we be successful in all these “extras” if we don’t know how to handle ourselves or our conduct with others? Once you’ve reinforced your own “in house” manners, look for classes that teach the building blocks for creating better relationships, dining etiquette, business etiquette, and public manners. These combined make for excellent reinforcement of the skills you’ve directed in your home and your place of business.
Teaching kids proper manners takes patience and endurance. Some will listen and learn quickly while others will come to the table kicking and screaming! You have to lead by example and trust your hard work will pay off!
Tiffany Nielsen is an advocate for civility. She is a speaker, trainer and co-author of the book, Incredible Business. Tiffany is President of Premier Etiquette and is a trained etiquette and image consultant who specializes in business etiquette, children’s etiquette and workplace readiness for college graduates. To book Tiffany for a seminar, as a speaker for your upcoming event, or for private coaching, contact her at (559)280-9859 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be her friend on Facebook at Premier Etiquette Training and Consulting. Visit her website at www.tiffanynielsen.com for additional resources.
Copyright 2010 Tiffany Nielsen. All Rights Reserved. To reprint, please contact Tiffany Nielsen at email@example.com for permission.