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Teaching Etiquette at Home


Dear Ms. Etiquette,
I home-school my kids and I would like to introduce social skills and proper manners in my sessions. What skills do you consider most important for children to learn first? Do you have any ideas?
– Home-schooler Mom

Dear Home-schooler Mom,

The first thing you need to remember is that the parents are the prime example at home. Children will usually mimic parents, consciously or not. Always being kind and thoughtful is the key to teaching manners, you can’t go wrong with this tip.

The most important tip for an adult is making a good first impression, so you can start teaching this at an early age. Attention to proper grooming, proper posture (standing with confidence), good eye contact and good introduction skills are very important. Have you ever seen a parent with noisy children suddenly go catatonic when spoken to? It is embarrassing. Practice this when in public.

I consider table manners equally important. You can do this first of all by having your family sit down together for dinner. Sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how many families eat on the run. Dinner time is an excellent opportunity not only to practice good conversation skills, but to bond as a family. Children are less likely to get into trouble if they know parents are interested in everything they do. Have the older ones help in setting the table and providing the proper atmosphere just for fun.

Example: proper lighting, music and a nice centerpiece for dinner. You can also get creative and play restaurant with the younger children with roles for host/hostess, waiter/server, guest and a fun menu. And of course my favorite, playing tea and being extra proper with the young ladies.

Have fun teaching, I hope this helps and gives you ideas while at home with the kiddos. If you need extra help, give me a call.

Irma Wolcott

Irma Wolcott

Irma Wolcott is the owner of Fun With Etiquette. Call her at 956-492-4762 for more information. Website: e-Mail her at: [email protected]

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