Y’all, I’m talking a lot about kids this week. But there have been several situations crop up that made me want to spend much of this week tackling the issues.
Today I am so excited to host Virginia Johnson, a long time family friend, and manners EXPERT! Seriously, it’s her business. She’s guest posting on manners for our kids. I love her tips and she has an excellent e-book called Mimi Rules, A Kindness Guide for Young Ladies, you must download. While it’s geared for 9 to 13 year olds, I’m taking many of the tips and applying them in our home now. Without further adieu, here’s Virginia.
It saddens me to watch our young people barrel through their days without so much as a “hello, how are you?”
Their ears are glued to cell phones; unable to hear instruction (aka ‘tools for life’) from mom or dad.
Rarely is the door held open for an adult. Food is shoveled from plate to mouth in a matter of seconds.
Manners are not medieval, a thing of the past – they are here to stay and make everyone look better. And when they look better, they feel better and eventually have confidence to handle most any situation.
When I tell high school boys, “manners help you on the court, the field AND out to dinner with a young lady,” the room gets quiet. I tell girls that the first tip on my list of ten must-know manners is first impressions count! You have approximately 15 seconds to make a good or poor impression. (And that goes for everyone, really.)
If one does not have ‘social savvy’ during an interview, your GPA won’t get you the job! With social skills dwindling for all ages and experience levels, top notch manners and social ability will not only set you apart but can get you the job! Manners allow you to gain confidence and authority in social and business arenas.
The good news is our young ones are sponges and can learn the ropes long before they reach high school. They model what they see. Why not have a ‘fancy’ sit-down dinner once a week? Calendar the time each week to set a nice table (teach them how to do it), make dinner, and eat together as a family. While you are seated around the table, discuss and practice these table-time tips with your children:
1. When you set the table, the bread plate is on the left, dinner plate in the middle, water on the right (B-M-W).
2. Have the kids wait behind their chair until you come to the table.
3. Pass the bread, rolls, or muffins to the right.
4. Cut one piece of meat at time.
5. Eat slowly, with mouths closed (food or drink is not to be heard).
6. ….and there is much more!
This is about more than just table manners. It’s the start of a conversation about respect and social grace. The time you invest in developing your children’s social skills builds their self-esteem, self-respect, and respect for others.