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Being as how I am Southern and was mostly raised by grandparents and older relatives, good manners and proper etiquette have been drilled into me since around the time I started to walk. “Mind your manners!” was a mantra I heard almost daily, either before church or visiting with elders in the nursing home, setting the dinner table or eating out, and all other types of situations. While it was a reminder I was given often, I believe my grandmother was often very proud of how well behaved I was and how mannerly I acted, and it is that same pride I have for my kids. For the 21 years of my being a mom, one of the most common remarks I get on my children’s behavior is how well mannered they are, how polite and kind they act. They have participated in Cotillion and social graces classes and while their manners are usually the least of my worries with them, I was excited to expand on their etiquette lessons when the opportunity arose.
|What is Etiquette||Magic Words||Table Manners|
|Saying Hello||Cleaning Up||Good Hygiene|
|Kindness||Being a Guest||The “No” Word|
|Sharing||Sincere Apologies||A Clean Mouth is a Cherished Gift|
“Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Because my youngest is a middle schooler, we were sent the Intermediate and Masters programs to review.
The Intermediate program is 125 days of short lessons that are ‘child-taught’. The child reads the lesson and then there is a short activity that pertains to the lesson. The child can then teach the family the etiquette skill through either role-playing, a game or further discussion. So if you have an older child who needs to be brushed up on some things, little brother or sister can help them with that! Since proper etiquette dictates that older brother not pummel the younger one at the dinner table, everyone wins (especially Mom)!
Besides having the usual dinner table lessons, there are lessons on wedding and funeral etiquette, being a good neighbor, respect for mom and dad, visiting others’ homes or riding in others’ cars, respecting your sibling’s property and so much more! The lessons are very current with today’s needs as well. Cell phone and text messaging etiquette, social networking sites, ‘potty mouth’, and sporting events to name just a few. One of my favorites is Day 77: No “Dragon Breath” because no matter how many times you tell your kids to brush up, until they realize why it is important other than keeping their mouth healthy, it often gets ignored.
While there have been some lessons that my daughter has said “I already know that!”, I personally love the reinforcement for what she does know, and the new topics to further her good manners. From ways to handle conversations, have tact when speaking to others or just playing games, I think that the lessons covered in the Intermediate program are great!
The Intermediate program is $29.95, which I think is a great price for the amount of lessons in this book.
The Etiquette Masters book is geared towards teens and is much smaller than the previous two (because by high school, they should be ‘Masters’ of etiquette) and contains topics specifically geared to where teens are in their life. While we are still working through the intermediate program, I have taken a look through the Masters program and while some of it won’t pertain to my youngest daughter for a few more years, other topics will, and my 18 year old daughter has found the whole book to be beneficial to where she is right now in life, with upcoming graduation, job hunting, dating and soon, college!
|Etiquette Masters: Table of Contents|
The Masters Program is $9.95, which again I think is a very fair price for what it covers.
There are other products available, like posters, place mats (to help those younger kids with table setting and table manners), games, t-shirts and more. I think Mrs. Irvine has come up with a great product. Sadly, in this day and age, we have lost a lot of proper etiquette and mannerisms, even being called old-fashioned when we do exhibit what we were taught as children. In my personal opinion, having our society return to ‘old-fashioned’ good manners is a much needed thing. The world is big and wide, but has become so much smaller with the advent of the digital age. By teaching our children proper etiquette, we CAN make the world a better place. Good manners begin at home, with The Etiquette Factory, you can make sure your children have a great start!