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Do you remember my saying I was raising a Mr. Grabby Hands? Well, I was. His table manners during dinner one night on our cruise were horrendous. I couldn’t wait to research children’s etiquette courses when we got home.
What I found were many formal lessons geared toward large groups of children. So I decided to begin my own lessons.
First, I concentrated on helping Little Buddy to understand our family values. Not that grabbing bread from the basket on the cruise signified major misunderstanding of our family values, but I wanted to start from the ground up! No holes allowed in this lesson.
Our children emulate the behaviors, attitudes, and yes, manners they learn from those they are around. They learn from parents, friends, television characters, and even from the books they read. Whatever they are exposed to influences them in one way or another.
My husband and I decided we would take extra care in selecting these influences that provided the proper modeling. We had unfortunately become a bit lax in some of our cartoon selections we had allowed. Those fences had to be mended – and how.
We also made sure to model the manners we expected from Little Buddy. Please, thank you, will you pass the…, and excuse me quickly became emphasized.
Since most of the lessons I found were geared toward large groups, I needed another form of professional help. I needed Emily Post!
I ordered Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners by Peggy Post and Cindy Post Senning and began making my plans for this school year. The areas we are covering include:
- Words Matter
- On the Home Front
- Public Places
- Play Nicely
- Travel Well
- Special Occasions
These areas will be covered in 35 lessons finalized with a party for the 36th week. Nothing tests etiquette and manners like planning, hosting, attending, and thanking attendees better than a party.
I will be blogging about our Lessons in Etiquette and look forward to your comments. It’s not easy raising children to be well-mannered, responsible people. I pray the investment in these years pays dividends later.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
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