Minding Your P’s and Q’s

20 Feb

Today’s guest blogger is one of our fantastic ‘Faculty’ members and also the owner of Etiquette Kansas City. We’re so excited to have Janis Kliethermes share some great information on manners we should teach and model for our kids.

National Manner’s Day is February 20, and what a great time to remind your children that good manners are timeless. By knowing and using proper etiquette your children will develop self-confidence and be a more successful adult.

However, the best way to instill good manners in your children is by setting a good example yourself. You can’t say one thing, and do another. A mother once asked me how to help her child that spoke too loudly and had a horrible habit of interrupting. It only took me a couple of minutes into the conversation with the mother to realize that the “fruit didn’t fall far from the tree!” Her son was communicating just as she had taught him!

Here are a few of the basics that will never become “old fashioned” and will help your children become comfortable in any social situation.

Table Manners – napkin on the lap, wait for everyone before beginning to eat, chew with your mouth closed, elbows off the table, cut your food properly, don’t reach, take small bites, sit up straight, try new things, and never complain that you don’t like something.

Conversation Manners – look people in the eye, speak loudly enough for them to hear you, ask questions about them, don’t dominate the conversation, don’t ask personal or controversial questions, and a smile on your face will go a long way.

Respecting Others Call adults by their last name, have a firm handshake, stand when an adult enters a room for the first time, open doors for others, give up your chair if needed, say I’m sorry and excuse me, remember please and thank you at all times.

Be a Gracious Guest –  Follow the rules of the house and don’t assume the rules in your house apply in someone else’s home, respect their property, don’t open doors that are closed, don’t be snoopy, clean up after yourself, thank the parents for having you.

Don’t forget to praise your children when they do remember their good manners. Most people respond better to positive reinforcement than to negative. If they only hear you nagging, they will eventually tune you out. Perhaps you reward your children on occasion when they demonstrate proper behavior.

I have never had a problem with bribery when it comes to kids as long as it’s not overused. “Girls, if you behave and mind your manners at the Conway house, we will go for ice cream later,” I said a few times. Of course, now they blame me for an addiction to ice cream, however their manners are pretty good!

Janis Kliethermes

Etiquette Kansas City

www.etiquettekansascity.com

(816) 977-6182

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