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Etiquette for Kids

Local businesses can help your kids learn the ins and outs of etiquette and table manners just in time for fancy holiday dinners.

By Jessica Covert

Nov 2014

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Kids will be kids, but the holidays are stressful enough without your little ones wreaking havoc at mealtime. In the next few weeks, you can sign your kids up for an etiquette class at My Concierge, LLC or at The Etiquette Academy to prevent any dinner table snafus. 

Social etiquette, table manners and even technology etiquette are just a handful of the topics that Jacqueline Rogers of The Etiquette Academy (417-883-4123; theetiquetteacademy.net) covers in her classes. Rogers says she hosts two large classes each year, one in the fall and one in the spring, with other case-by-case classes available. Kids from second to sixth grade attend four sessions and learn all of the basics and get a comprehensive lesson in multiple areas of etiquette. During the holidays, Rogers says one important thing for children to learn about is socializing and interacting with people. Knowing the etiquette of social interactions helps build confidence for the student, Rogers says. 

Ginger Cunningham says My Concierge, LLC (417-895-0410, myconciergeswmo.com) offers etiquette classes on an as-needed basis for anyone and any occasion. Cunningham says they cover the most important aspects of etiquette, including table manners and conversation etiquette, and teaches those concepts in an interactive environment. Dialogue is facilitated with students, Cunningham says, which helps them learn the essential skills needed.

 

5 Tips for Kids

Our sources share their five most important pieces of etiquette advice for the Thanksgiving dinner table.

1. Help your child understand how their behavior makes others feel. 

Rogers says it’s important for kids to understand that their behaviors affect others. Help them remain engaged with the other people at the table, so others feel like they’re being heard.

2. Ask your kids to put their electronics away at the table.

This goes for adults, too. Devices are everywhere, but Rogers says setting them aside helps keep you engaged with the other family members at the table. 

3Have a conversation with your children about what they can talk about at the dinner table.

Cunningham suggests helping your child come up with questions to ask or other things to talk about at the dinner table. Even small children want to be seen as the bigger kids, Cunningham says, and helping them with conversation ideas can help them develop their etiquette even further.

4. Make sure your kids have basic table manners. 

Rogers says since many families eat fast food on the go, sometimes traditional table manners go by the wayside. Cunningham says table manners reduce distraction, so you can focus on the family and conversations around you. 

5. Say “please” and “thank you.”

This rule of thumb hasn’t gone out of style, and Cunningham says it’s just good manners to use these handy phrases.