Modern society is more than a little lacking when it comes to social skills. The past couple of years have only made it worse, as we all “masked up” and avoided making eye contact. We’re so used to isolating with computers and phones that we don’t know how to act around real people.
To combat this trend, I would encourage you to include an old-fashioned, but very important subject in your home school and personal study this year. Yes, I’m talking about etiquette/manners.
Have you ever known someone with poise who always dresses properly for the occasion and conducts themselves with ease and grace? That type is rare, but so admirable. Have you ever wanted yourself or your child to be that person? To not be the awkward one hiding in the corner or doing something really stupid?
Well, check out The Family Vision lending library and our consignment shop for help getting started. Brush up on the topic yourself with You Can Raise a Well-Mannered Child. This book is based on classes that have been taught to various age groups. Even Fortune 500 executives learn this stuff because they recognize the importance of good manners. You will also learn about the Biblical foundations for manners, which makes them that much more meaningful.
Get your kids started early with A Little Book of Manners for Boys and A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy and Kindness for Young Ladies. Your littlest ones will be much more pleasant to you and the other people in their lives when they start early to conduct themselves in a mannerly way. No one likes to be around a brat, no matter how “cute” they are.
Your older girls may enjoy learning from Social Graces: Manners, Conversation, and Charm for Today. Learn from two experts on hospitality how to “be prepared to enter into any social event with your own unique blend of beauty, charm, confidence, and good manners”. Your daughters will appreciate the confidence that knowing good manners gives them as they interact with friends, “cute” boys, employers, and others.
Older boys often think manners are ridiculous, fun-to-ignore rules that make life miserable. Perhaps hand them How to Be A Gentleman: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy. This book will help your son become a gentleman, or “someone who makes others feel comfortable”. It then takes the reader through most situations in life, from dressing to dining out, giving straight-forward, practical tips for dealing with each in the best way. A well-mannered, neat guy is a lot more attractive than a belching, sloppy one with poor grammar.
Make mastering manners a fun family affair. The author of The Family Book of Manners believes manners aren’t a false front to make people believe you are something you are not. Hermine Hartley says manners “come from the heart. They’re really a form of love”. Further, knowing good manners will help you enjoy confidence rather than embarrassment and confusion.
Don’t we all want that for ourselves and those we love? I know I’ve been in many situations that I wish I had known how to handle in a better way. That’s where the mother of all etiquette, Emily Post, comes in. Her thick books cover everything etiquette. They are great reference books, especially when you have questions on less frequent events like weddings and oversees travel.
Please include manners in the box of all the things you teach your kids and learn for yourself. Even the most intelligent person is no fun to be around if they are a slob, rude, inconsiderate, or have no people skills. The cutest child is a terror if they throw fits and slap people to get their way. I know you will actually have fun learning and practicing good manners. Some day, your kids will thank you!
Reading is Rewarding!
Request the following titles from the Family Vision Library here:
You Can Raise a Well-Mannered Child, by June HInes Moore
and A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy and Kindness for Young Ladies, by Emilie Barnes
Social Graces: Manners, Conversation, and Charm for Today., by Kathryn Andrews Fincher
How to Be A Gentleman: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy, by John Bridges
The Family Book of Manners, by Hermine Hartley
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