July 20, 2009

Monday Manners

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”
--Fred Astaire

Every parent wants their children to have nice manners, from simple things like saying "Please" and Thank you", to knowing how to behave on formal occasions. I have observed that manners improve as you move higher up in society. Wealthy families pass down etiquette through the generations; it's just how they were raised. While those of us working our way up aren't always aware of the nuances of being a lady or a gentleman.

B brought up the subject a couple of weeks ago when he asked me to check the library for How to Be a Gentleman: A Timely Guide to Timeless Manners. He worried that I might ridicule him for wanting to improve his manners, but I was thrilled and inspired. We may never be wealthy or walk in those circles, but our manners should be impeccable anyway. There is no higher compliment than being thought of as well-mannered. We want to help our children too, as they continue to learn how to socialize with their peers and beyond. In a few years we will welcome our son's coming of age with 50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know, and hope he finds nothing surprising in it's pages.

In an effort to be a little more regular with my posting and in keeping with the theme of raising children who think, I am starting a Monday Manners lesson. I'll post a tip, a rule, or some advice every Monday to help myself and others learn the most up-to-date etiquette of polite society. I'd also be interested in any thoughts on the need, or reasoning behind any of the lessons.

This Monday's Manner:
A lady knows how to accept a compliment by saying, "Thank you."
I received a few compliments this week, and tried to make a conscious effort not to refute them. Instead I accepted them graciously, and let myself feel good about them. Next time you get a compliment, try it! It's a nice feeling.

Photo from: flickr


  1. I like your new format.

    Did you know my mom teachers manners classes to 7th graders? And business etiquette at a local college?

    I like your idea for Monday Manners!
    See you tomorrow.

  2. I like your redesign, and I hope that you will keep up manners weekly post. I will be happy to provide my European take on what is considered to be polite here in US :)

  3. Grace, I didn't know that about your mom. Definitely tell me more!

    Raising a Happy Child-Yes! Please tell me if there are differences in American vs. European manners. I think many people here think they have manners, but aren't actually "following" the rules. I wonder if the real manners differ that much?

    Thank you both for the compliments on the new design. I'm very happy with it :)