Raising well-mannered children is a goal for many parents. If it’s an ongoing battle at your house you’re not alone.
A Reader’s Digest survey shows most Americans believe we are more rude today than we were 20 years ago.
Cassandra Givan teaches students as young as two and three to start using a napkin and say please and thank you.
“It’s like potty training, if you wait until they are four to introduce the concept, it will take longer for it to become part of the routine,” explained Givan.
She uses role playing and video to introduce and reinforce concepts.
Student Parker LaRiviere remembers watching a video of The Manners Monster many years ago.
“He taught me to pretend to cough when I have to burp,” he recalled “It still works every time.”
The middle schooler also learned to set a table in a “ Manners on the Go” class offered by Givan.
“If they set the table they’ll be more interested in behaving once they sit down,” she explained.
She gives the students several cues, like fork has four letters and so does left. It’s a reminder for where silverware is placed.
Students are also taught to pay attention to the flow of conversation.
“If they finish first, they haven’t talked enough and if they finish their food last they have talked too much,” remarked Givan.
When it comes to cell phones, Givan teaches the students to silence them.
“If they’re expecting a call from a parent, they can put it on vibrate and let guests know they’ll have to leave the table if the phone buzzes.”
She also recommends rewarding a child’s good manners.
“In my class we give the golden fork award,” she concluded.