Parenting: Why Manners Matter

Posted in: Parenting

Let’s talk about manners and kids: single mother reader, Nancy, wrote to me and asked if teaching manners was “worth all the effort.”  

Her letter got me curious. We are definitely a less formal society than in the past so I wanted to check out if etiquette protocols are yesterday’s news.

I interviewed etiquette specialist Irma Vorbeck and recorded this week’s show, (listen here) and I now believe that “etiquette” isn’t outdated; rather, it’s an old-fashioned word for very important and necessary today skills!  Modern day etiquette professionals don’t talk about holding a tea cup properly but treating your neighbor respectfully, being a good sport, having empathy and living by the Golden Rule.

Listen to today show and see if you don’t realize it too–that if we take the time to teach and reinforce (and reinforce, and reinforce) the best way to treat others, to eat in polite way (that doesn’t gross others out!), to conduct oneself with a certain kind of refinement– our children won’t be limited in life by his social and people skills–which is what etiquette is really all about.  Read the show description below, and listen in as I also share my family secret to getting my son to have good table manners!  – Love, Julia ***


PARENTING: WHY MANNERS MATTER LISTEN HERE
ABOUT THIS WEEK'S SHOW:

Progressive private schools across the country are adding etiquette to their curriculum. Good Morning America is airing features on teaching etiquette to children. But one single mom has asked me if it’s worth the effort. “Is it really important?” she said. “Is it worth the daily struggle and endless corrections it takes to teach good manners?”

Today’s guest, etiquette consultant and columnist Irma Vorbeck, answers YES. She explains, “Etiquette is the glue that holds a child’s education together. Without it, your children will flounder.”

Strong words indeed—but words Irma backs up with history. George Washington, for example, overcame his humble background (including being raised by a single mother) through superb etiquette. (His 110 Rules of Conduct are listed here: http://www.foundationsmag.com/civility.html)

However, we’ll get current, too. On today’s show we’ll touch upon the challenges of teaching manners and the reasons they’re just as important now as in the past. Besides giving children increased self-confidence and social poise, etiquette will help them build constructive friendships. “Like attracts like,” and if you take the time to teach your children to respect others, they won’t choose friends who are disrespectful.

But you don’t have to go it alone. For the busy single mom, Irma suggests enrolling children in a local etiquette program. And program host Julia describes the totally silly, but effective, game she invented that resulted in perfect table manners for her son. (No kidding!)

You’ll also discover how etiquette rules go way beyond saying “please” and “thank you” and using your fork properly. Etiquette is the foundation of how people relate to each other, and your children can’t be truly successful without it.

Tune in! Leave your comments below.