Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mind Your Manners, Please

So...I am affectionately known as the "manners police" in my home.
I don't mind this nickname because I happen to have very well mannered children, thanks to my persistence in teaching my children etiquette from a very early age.

Living in the South, manners are pretty popular and it is common to hear "yes ma'me" and "yes sir" coming from children, as well as adults. I realize that not everyone believes manners are important, but I believe in giving my children the tools to succeed in life and I think manners are a key part of that.

My children participated in cotillion in the sixth grade, which was an opportunity for them to learn social graces and practice them in real life. They learned how to dance, how to treat your date, and how to introduce someone, just to name a few things.
My #4 at the Cotillion Holly Ball

My #4 listening intently for instructions on the next dance step.

My #3 in-between dances...it was a lovely evening.
At the Holly Ball, the children are able to show off their skills as the sons attend the ball with their mothers and the daughters attend with their fathers.

 It's a shame that many parents today do not teach their children good manners, as I believe that having good manners is not only about being polite, it is about feeling confident and comfortable in different social settings, whether it be the country club, the theater, a party, or as a house guest, etc.
One of the BEST gifts I received as a college graduate was Emily Post's Etiquette Book.
This is a great resource for a young lady, and makes a great graduation gift.
I used mine for many years and bought a new revised edition a few years ago.
Here is another book I have used as a parent...
This is a great little book for kids to read and use as a reference.
If you have a wedding in your future, this is a great resource too...
I will look forward to using this book when my children are getting married!
Another great resource for etiquette is Letitia Baldridge. Mrs. Baldridge was Jacqueline Kennedy's Social Secretary during the Kennedy White House, and was known for her expertise in protocol and public relations, as well as etiquette. Mrs. Baldridge passed away in 2012, but many of her books are timeless in their teachings and they are full of wonderful information.
Here are a few of her books that I happen to have...
This is an old book, published back in 1987, but it was a great resource for me when I was "grown up" and out of college. Some of the information may be dated, but most of it is still good.
This covers things such as what to wear to different functions and how to reply to invitations.
In The Kennedy Style is not an etiquette book, however this is an awesome book covering six of the most memorable social occasions during the Kennedy White House. I have always been intrigued by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and this book is a peek into her party planning.
This book is very similar to Emily Post's earlier books, but Mrs. Baldridge was the first to address the "new" manners pertaining to email and cell phones.
If you happen to be a military wife, then this book is a MUST
This Service Etiquette book is a wealth of information for military wives, especially if you are an officer's wife. I have to say that I did find it lacking in the area of military retirement ceremonies, but for the most part it covers everything you would need to know.
Here is a book that I bought for my daughters to read...I think the title is self-explanatory.
This book is a fairly quick read and my daughters found it fun and also informative.
I may be known as the "manners police" in my home, but it is because of my diligence when my children were young that I no longer have to prompt them to write hand written thank you notes. My children know how to behave properly at nice restaurants and are able to engage in polite conversation when meeting new people, whether it be their peers or with adults. Of course I am always delighted when other parents report how well mannered my children were as house guests at sleepovers as well guests as parties.

What is your position on manners?

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Nancy said...

No question...manners are a must! The best compliment I had recently was when my youngest "graduated" from pre-school his teacher told me that she'd never had a four year old with more impeccable manners. I guess my constant corrections have sunk in!


Simply LKJ said...

I totally agree! Our girls attended cotillion as well.

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