Children First: Kids and Etiquette

By: Danielle Banks
By: Danielle Banks

Proper etiquette is a must in today's society. It takes years to master, so you can't just hope it will catch on. Experts say the earlier you start the better off your child will be.

"It's not taught in the homes as much as it used to be," says Megan Dofflemyer. She's been teaching etiquette for three years now. Whether it's taught one on one or in a seminar like this one, she says proper manners are key for any child to grow up to be a successful adult. "Simply because it could be a business dinner or business function and they sit down at dinner and have horrible table manners. That could result in loss of job," says Dofflemyer.

By displaying proper table manner you will make a huge impact. "If the parent displays proper table manners your child will pick it up from you because they do look up to you as an adult and as a parent," says Dofflemyer.

But good table manners aren't enough. Kids also need to be taught how to say thank you. Dofflemyer says, "Tell them to say 'Please pass that item,' or just simply saying, 'That was a wonderful dinner mom! Thank you!"

Children also need to get the facts about nutrition, proper skin care, hair care, exercise, and keeping good self-esteem. Cindy Townsend is the owner of The Weight is Over. She says, "It's an overall about the whole person. If you feel good on the inside, then you'll feel good on the outside and it's much better."

And a little positive motivation won't hurt either. Student Heather Crawford says, "It'll keep me healthier in the long run and it will keep me healthy as I get older."

Experts also say kids will be quicker to absorb proper conduct if they are instructed by someone other than a parent. Townsend says, "There's a need for young girls. That if they are going to make a difference in their lives that they're gonna need things like table manners, etiquette. The things that your mother always tells you, but you just don't do it until you hear it from somebody else."

With young kids, don't expect perfection right away. Remember practice makes perfect.

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