“Make sure you say thank you,” “Put your dishes in the sink,” “Make sure you ask to be excused,” “Say please”… These are just some of the phrases I find myself saying to my children over and over, day after day. Why is this so important anyway? Are all my efforts actually worth it?
Teaching our children good manners at an early age can really set the stage for who they will become as an adult. We all know that one person who doesn’t have any sort of social grace or etiquette and let’s face it, do you really want your kids to grow up and become that person?
One thing I have learned is that good manners is a clear indicator that a child listens to his or her parents. It shows that the parents are in control and they’ve done a fine job teaching their kids to respect others. Sure, at times they forget, but making it a habit to continuously correct them, it’s bound to stick. It’s such a great feeling when we spend time at the home of our neighbors or friends, and upon leaving, my children turn around and say, “Thank you for having me.” Having good manners sets a standard of behavior that makes one prosper in our society. It’s those with no manners who typically lack respect for their parents and other authoritative figures.
This past weekend my children were invited to attend an etiquette class held at The University Club Atop Symphony Towers. I was so excited to sign my children up, I even had a few friends join in on the fun. Emily Post certified instructor, Mrs. Kymberli Parker, from Mrs. Parker’s Charm School believes that in this ever-changing world, there’s at least one thing that will never go out of style: manners! According to Mrs. Parker, “Manners will never go out of style because they are the threads that bind relationships.”
Dining etiquette is also important, as you will spend more time dining with friends and family throughout your life than any other task. Think about it! Celebrating, catching-up, wins, losses, dating…being armed with dining etiquette will not only enhance the event, but will also get you invited back (and remembered).
What better way to give that opportunity to my kids (and to test mom and dad’s parental skills) than to enroll them in Mrs. Parker’s Charm School. Mrs. Parker required the children get dressed for the occasion. They did a great job looking adorable and she sure seemed pleased upon their arrival.
Mrs. Parker greeted all of the children upon entering the dining area, where they would soon enjoy a four-course meal. She greeted each child with a firm hand shake and introduced herself, then allowed the children to do the same. The kids immediately had such a positive reaction to this type of personalized greeting.
Mrs. Parker is extremely knowledgeable and her delivery is on point and engaging. She began with the history of etiquette, and it’s significance . She explained how etiquette is meant to improve the interactions with people around you. “Etiquette teaches you to remove yourself from the equation and make decisions that are best for all involved,” said Parker. As a parent, I thoroughly enjoyed how hands on this class was, and how Mrs. Parker was able to ingrain such important lessons in just a few hours.
As each thoughtfully-designed course was delivered, Mrs. Parker taught new lessons on table manners. The food looked incredible, orzo soup, braised chicken with buttered cheese noodles and string beans and the children did quite well following her lead. It’s no surprise that the Shirley Temples were sheer crowd pleasers!
Delighted to share some of the table manners she covered with the children… you’re welcome:
- Swallow all your food before you talk.
- Proper Place Setting
- Ask someone to pass food that is not right in front of you. Don’t reach for it.
- Is that my water or yours?
- Sit up straight and don’t slouch.
- Chew with your mouth closed.
- What to do with the food if it’s gross.
- Keep elbows off the table if there is food in front of you.
- Food is for eating, not for playing.
- Ask the server to replace dropped silverware. Don’t crawl under the table to get it.
- Have your knife pointed away from you and placed on the plate upon putting it down.
Who doesn’t love a delicious treat after dinner? The smiles were from ear to ear when the mousse tart dessert came out.
If there is one thing I know about charm, ‘charming people’ always seem to know what to do or say to put people at ease and win trust. They make people around them feel special and unique. Displaying these character traits not only wields power, but people are instantaneously attracted to the charming energy or aura of this person. Taking part in Mrs. Parker’s Charm School could only result in having a more polished, appealing manner.
All in all, The Etiquette Dinner was executed and delivered in an outstanding fashion. To a packed room filled of twenty children. Each time I peeked into the room, all eyes were on her. I could honestly say she is the “Manners Whisperer” and knows how to deliver these important lessons in a way where all of the children left with a new outlook on eating properly while respecting those around them. I was so thrilled when the first thing my children asked was, “When can we do that again?”
“It was so much fun.” Mrs. Parker truly has a modern-day twist to teaching manners and etiquette and I highly recommend you look into how you could get your children enrolled. Check out her website here. Please contact Mrs. Kymberli Parker regarding scheduling and pricing at 619.233.4203 or [email protected] and let your kids get totally CHARMED!