Monday, November 2


Two topics come to mind as the holidays approach...Gratefulness and Good Manners. I am opting to write about Good Manners this week, since Good Manners usually produce Gratefulness!

"Proper Manners" is a lost art" etiquette experts lament.

Lest you think this topic isn't for you...see if you can answer these questions:
1. A napkin should be left on your lap:
a. Only when you are eating
b. For as long as your host has a napkin on her lap
c. Just for the main course
d. For the entire meal

2. A proper place setting consists of:
a. Fork to the left of the plate
b. Knife and spoon to the right of the plate
c. Bread plate goes on the left of the dinner plate, glasses on the right
d. All of the above

3. Hold a glass of white wine by;
a. The base of the bowl
b. The stem
c. Whatever is comfortable for you
d. None of the above

4. At an informal gathering, the host serves dishes to their:
a. Left
b. Right
c. There is no set rule
d. The host does not begin serving the meal

Do you think you know all the correct answers? Do you care? Did you read some of the questions thinking it really doesn't matter?

Well, that is probably how kids interpret the importance of manners. Some things 'click' with them and they make it a habit and other manners don't really make sense so they just keep doing what comes naturally for them.

As we prepare for the holidays, a brief review and commitment to good manners is in order. Here are the answers to the questions above: d, d, b, b...just in case you were wondering:)

Beyond table manners, manners in general are about showing basic values---thinking about how you would like to be treated and act accordingly.

You are really empowering yourself and your child when you have paid attention to good manners. Children have a sense that they are in charge of how they act when they understand manners...and that is a goal of good parenting, I think.

Teaching manners starts early on with the basic lesson that nothing should be done or said that could possibly hurt someone else...their body or their feelings.

So as we are focused on being 'intentional' this year, we will be 'intentional' in thinking through good manners this week.

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