gmhTODAY 16 gmhToday Sept Oct 2017 - Page 86

manners MATTER BY KAREN LA CORTE C hildren’s Etiquette is manners plain and simple. Manners begin at home. It is our responsibility as parents and grandparents to instill right from wrong, polite behavior and acts of kindness. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in achieving these attributes for our little ones. This reinforcement should also be encouraged by teachers, coaches, and the like, as it really does take a village to raise a child. Children’s Etiquette Karen La Corte is an etiquette and manners expert trained and certi- fied by the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. She has been teaching eti- quette and manners to children and adults for over thirty years. She is also a certified image and fashion consultant. Karen is happy to answer any personal etiquette or image questions you may have by emailing her at karen@marxtowing.com 86 Children are like sponges. They are ready to absorb information as it comes their way. It is important that we teach our children about attitude and positive inter- actions with others early. Being nice and pleasant to be around is learned behavior. I teach children that there are “five” magic words. The first two are, “Please and Thank You.” May I please have more milk? Thank you for packing my lunch, mom. But, we cannot forget “You’re Welcome,” “Excuse Me,” and “I’m Sorry.” You’re most welcome for accepting my sincere thanks. Excuse me for burping at the table. I’m sorry for ringing the doorbell fifty times. No matter what your age, these words express positive meaning to others. Courtesies day-to-day are just as impor- tant as the thank you for the birthday gift. It’s the appreciation for letting us go ahead in line at the grocery store or for sharing a book at school. Have you all seen the movie “Moana?” It is my favorite children’s movie right now. There are a lot of life lessons in this movie including manners. The song, “You’re Welcome,” has come to be one of my favorites. Share this with your children. You won’t regret it. You’ll be going around the house singing “You’re Welcome” like we do here with the kids. It’s a great way to get them to say it. It is important to teach children that even though we live in the same house with our family and we see them everyday, we need to be as nice to them as we are to others. It is out of respect and consideration that we don’t talk back, don’t make faces when we don’t want to do something, and don’t leave our clothes and toys around for others to pick up. It is important to take turns, share (that’s a big one), follow the GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN rules, and don’t whine or cry when we don’t have everything our way. Putting things back where they belong so others can find them easily is as important as cleaning up the toys after play. Kids need to learn that it is not polite to leave their toys around so others may trip on them. Training a child to smile and shake hands when they meet someone for the first time is one of my favorite exercises. Add “How do you do?” or “Pleased to meet you!” and your child will be ahead of the game in the social skills department Children need to know the importance of table manners whether at home, at a friend’s house, or in a restaurant. Emily Post shares her Top Table Manners for Kids – What Every Kid Should Know: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 w Come to the table with clean hands and face. w Put your napkin on your lap. w Start eating when everyone else does or when given the okay to start. w Stay seated and sit up straight. w Keep elbows (and other body parts!) off the table while eating. w Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk until you’ve swallowed. w Don’t make bad comments about the food. w Say “Please pass the ….” Instead of reaching. w Chat with everyone at the table. w Don’t make rude noises like burping or slurping. w Ask to be excused when finished. w Thank your host or whoever prepared the meal. w Offer to help clear the table. gmhtoday.com