Among the many things children can and should learn, etiquette might seem like a frivolous or unnecessary subject, but good manners are an important part of life. Mannerly behaviour puts others at ease and lets them know their feelings and sensibilities are respected. Professional, and sometimes costly, etiquette schools can help your child learn good manners, but there are also ways for your kids to brush up on social graces for free.
Types of Etiquette
Proper etiquette encompasses much more than just saying “please” and “thank you.” There are many kinds of etiquette, covering just about any social situation you might encounter. Basic etiquette includes such topics as waiting your turn to speak and practicing good sportsmanship. Table manners are another key facet of good manners for kids, as are making proper introductions and sending thank-you notes.
Free etiquette classes for your kids might be closer than you think. Often, community centres and local libraries will hold workshops on this and a variety of other subjects for kids and adults alike. In April 2010, for example, the Ridgewood Public Library in New Jersey offered a free, two-hour etiquette session to cardholders in grades 3 through 5. The session covered such topics as handshakes and dining etiquette.
The Internet has made many things more accessible to families, and that includes learning. For instance, Pete’s PowerPoint Station, or PPPST, offers free online classes in a number of subjects, including manners and etiquette. The site’s courses for kids include PowerPoint presentations on table manners and other etiquette topics, as well as links to related websites.
For parents and kids who enjoy reading, learning about good manners could become a sort of home study course. Local libraries are a valuable source of information for a plethora of subjects, including etiquette. Books such as “Emily Post’s Etiquette” by Peggy Post or “Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners” by John Morgan are among the many guides to good manners that might be found on your library’s shelves.