"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use." —Emily Post
Did you know that September is Children's Good Manners Month? What a timely topic to ponder and work on in our homes. Have you noticed in our society how children and teens tend to lack a bit in the manner department? It is disheartening to see rudeness tolerated in children, teens and adults. The best solution is to practice and teach good manners to our own.
Emily Post shares that social development is a process in which children learn how to interact with the world around them. Manners are one aspect of this process, and they expand from communication basics to table manners to how to act when out and about in various situations. Although the web site is one to keep and refer to often, there are four great "Good Manner Challenges" to get a good start on training:
1. Convincing people that the small amount of extra time and effort it takes to treat people with respect, consideration and kindness is worth it in so many ways – social, business, and emotional.
2. Getting the message out that there is a standard of behavior and that being flexible does not mean acting below that standard. Flexibility allows us to be respectful of the diversity of customs that is part of the world today but we never suggest that people should behave below the standard.
3. Getting the message out that while manners change, the principles do not. While manners are different today than they were yesterday, and they differ from region to region, the principles of respect, consideration and honesty are exactly the ones that guided Emily Post’s advice and are fundamental in every culture.
4. Getting the message out that people can be both informal and polite!
Emily Post shares "A reporter once commented to me that I must have the most perfectly set table ever. The thing is that I don’t even have a dining room or kitchen table. My children learned their “table” manners eating on trays on their laps. They still learned the importance of manners and enjoying good food and conversation at the same time. They know how to handle their utensils, and they know to chew with their mouths closed. Ours was an informal home with a custom of informality, but we were always respectful and considerate and knew that manners were an essential skill for everyone in the family."
A few more resources to examine and reinforce good manners can be found at:
Do You Mind Your Manners? A quiz/refresher for parents.
10 Basic Manners To Teach Your Children
September is a great time to brush up on and practice good manners!