Instilling good manners in our children is something all parents think about. Making sure our children know how to behave in different situations is an ongoing goal that we all work towards. Dawn Jumper saw a need to help children and families learn the rules of etiquette after reading an article that said 85% of business executives believe having polished social skills is just as important as having the right degree. With the proliferation of technology and busy schedules, families were struggling to teach their children the basics of good etiquette so Dawn stepped in to help.
You might be wondering what the difference is between etiquette and manners. Dawn defines etiquette as the foundational rules and manners are the behaviors we add on to etiquette. Etiquette involves knowing things such as which side your bread plate is on, what the multiple forks are for and how to properly set a table. Of course in today’s society we’ve become more casual in our day to day lives however there are still times when our kids will need to call on their etiquette skills such as at interviews over a meal, formal weddings or business dinners.
Three important skills Dawn believes we can teach our children include:
- the importance of always using a napkin and basic napkin manners (like where you put it when you go to the restroom)
- the basics of table setting
- and how to be a good conversationalist.
Today we can’t get around the fact that everyone seated at a table will have some sort of technology on them. Dawn has a hierarchy system to use when teaching our kids when it’s appropriate to use your device while seated at the table.
- The gold level of cell phone use is when you are at a formal event, dining with a VIP, with grandparents or at a job interview, the phone should stay off the table.
- Since we aren’t always in a formal situation the next level of phone use at the table would be the silver level. This would be when you are at a more casual eatery with close friends and family. If you pull out your phone it's polite to include them in what you are searching for or looking at on your phone.
- Finally, the bronze level is when you’re with friends hanging out. As long as no one is feeling left out, these days it’s inevitable that kids will be on their devices.
Teaching our children manners can seem overwhelming but by weaving the lessons into everyday life while also making the lessons fun goes a long way with kids. Dawn has great resources on her website www.dawnjumper.com including online workshops and courses. Listen to episode 29, Ways to Help You Raise Mannerly Children in Modern Times on Raising_HealthyHumans. Head here to grab all the goodies she is providing, along with $10 off coupon code for the Family Table Manners Boot Camp.