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My husband and I are a young, growing, Christian, military family. My husband is a Captain in The United States Marine Corps. I am a former Elementary school teacher. We are first time parents to a beautiful little two year old boy, with twin boys on the way! I am a stay at home Marine wife, who loves to bake, cook, sew and craft! I enjoy being a Domestic Engineer. The purpose of this blog is to document the story of our life and adventures as they take place.

We are honored to be serving our country and ask for prayer in our upcoming adventures. We have been blessed tremendously, and thank God everyday for all he has given us!




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Manners & Etiquette Wednesday; Teaching Your Children Manners

Manners & Etiquette Wednesdays

Teaching Your Children Manners

As a teacher, I have often encountered children with impeccable manners and children who shall we say, have needed a little work in the manners department. :) In our parent's and grandparent's day, manners and etiquette were taught in school. Children of that generation were expected to be well groomed in the areas of social interaction with adults, table manners, written communication and much more. Many children today are not taught such social graces by their parents.

As a child, I can remember my Mother telling me to use words like please and thank you. To use Mr. and Mrs. when addressing and adult and to never call an adult by their first name. When I was living in the south, I loved how all of the children would refer to their elders with a Miss or Mr. in front of their first name, children in the south also would say "Yes Ma'am/sir and No, Ma'am/sir " when asked a question by an adult. This is something I plan to teach my little boy.

I stumbled upon this article yesterday while researching the topic of children and manners. I thought you might find it interesting.

"A new survey by Public Agenda-a non-partisan public policy research group—found 84 percent of survey participants believe a major cause of disrespect in American society today is too many parents failing to teach respect to children. However, 60 percent also agreed that even when parents try to "raise their kids right," there are too many negative role models in society that teach kids to be disrespectful. While complaints are plentiful, solutions seem scarce in the 60-page summary of findings on rudeness in America.

Can respect be taught? Are parents failing to teach manners to children? Can a 14-year-old boy be convinced that table manners matter? How can you help a child withstand teasing and bullying without becoming resentful? What to do when another parent's or teacher's rules vary greatly from your own? Was it easier to teach manners to children forty years ago?

Answers and solutions are found in the new book, “THE GIFT OF GOOD MANNERS: A Parent's Guide to Raising Respectful, Kind, Considerate Children,” (HarperResource; August, 2002; $24.95) by Peggy Post and Cindy Post Senning, Ed.D. The Posts-the third generation family members of Emily Post-argue that manners are unquestionably essential for every child's lifelong success and self confidence.

According to Peggy Post, who writes a monthly manners column in Parents and Good Housekeeping magazines, "Manners education is inseparable from the other things a parent or primary caregiver must do to raise a responsible, self-sufficient child. It's not a kind of add-on that be attended to after the schoolwork and the soccer, ballet and piano lessons are done. Instead, teaching and modeling good manners are integral to daily family life."

The book is organized around three key principles: 1) it is best to model and teach manners virtually from birth to adolescence; 2) manners education is most effective when geared to a child's normal development; and 3) Mannerly behavior gives both children and adults the self confidence to navigate daily life.

The book is divided into six sections, based on age, from birth through the high school years. In each chapter, manners and teaching methods are geared to children's particular capabilities during those years. Each section of "THE GIFT OF GOOD MANNERS" is divided into five chapters that deal with core manners topics including:

Values and ethics: For each age: how to model and teach the values you want to instill in your child-from empathy and truthfulness to sportsmanship and self-discipline.
Respect for self and others: One of the fundamental principles of etiquette. It's importance and how to teach it at any age. Building relationships with sibling, peers, family members, coaches and teachers; sharing; good sportsmanship; care of personal property, and taking responsibility for chores.
Spoken and written communications: The art of conversation, listening and speaking skills, on the telephone, e-mail, writing letters and thank-you notes-the importance of the learning to be a good communicator.
Table manners: from the mechanics of eating to the social aspects of dining, an age by age guide for teaching manners at the table.
Out and about: For any situation outside the home: restaurant outings, in the car, on the school bus, attending parties, introducing people, shopping, going to a friend's house or the library. Everything you need to know to teach your child to handle these situations.
According to Cindy Post Senning, the book's approach is positive: "Rather than talking about problems that need to be fixed, we help parents teach kids to develop the right instincts and behaviors from the start. We believe kids-even teenagers-can and want to be respectful, kind and considerate."

I then came across the book on teaching children manners and etiquette. It's called "The Gift of Good Manners" .

"THE GIFT OF GOOD MANNERS" focuses on understanding and modeling the principles and values that are the foundation of manners, and then shows parents ways to help their children take on these values and make them their own. The Posts also weigh in on topics such as children with special needs, the over-programmed child, etiquette for the new American family, overcoming obstacles in parent-to-parent relationships, dealing with problems at school and helping your teenager through the college application process. These sections, called "For Every Age" are found at the end of each section. "

While my husband was at Officer Candidate School for The Marine Corps, he along with his fellow Marine classmates were given this book to memorize. The inspiration for this post came to me the other day, while Rich and I were discussing this book. Rich said he truly enjoyed this book and learned so much. He believes every young boy should read this book.

When I was teaching elementary school, I always allowed 15 to 20 minutes at the end of the day for Manners & Etiquette time. This was a time where I explained how to write a thank you note, how to sit at the table, how to behave in public, how to set a table and finally the boys were taught to open the door for a lady or a little girl. Here is one of the books I read every year to my students. This is an excellent picture book for little minds when it comes to manners.

I am a firm believer in teaching manners at a young age. Children can start learning and understanding manners as toddlers. It is never too early to say please, thank you and excuse me. :)

I hope today's post has been an encouragement and a blessing to you. :)

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