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  Fail to teach children manners and fail them.

Etiquette Training from a Non-Parental Figure
Statistics show that kids are more receptive to learning manners and etiquette from a non-parental figure. We all know that if we tell our kids something they are less likely to believe it, practice it or retain it than if they learn it from their friends, online or from teachers or other educators. It's simply human nature. Our goal is for kids to have fun while they are learning. We teach them tips and tricks to help them grasp the overall concepts we're reinforcing. By making it fun to learn, while also appealing to their empathetic side, soon these social skills will become innate.

Meeting and Greeting
Proper handshakes
• First impression confidence builders
• Face-to-face interaction and good body language
• Conversation skills

Basic Courtesies
• Polite introductions
• Showing kindness
• How to give and receive compliments
• Courteous quartet: “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me”
and “may I”

Urban Pleasantries
• Phone manners and safety
• Incorporating thoughtfulness into everyday life
• How to handle mistakes and use tact
• Sincere versus insincere apologies
• Good sportsmanship

Receive More Invitations
• Party do’s and don’t’s
• How to be a great host and a guest that gets invited back
• Conversation starters
• Respecting the privacy and possessions of others
• How to write a proper thank you note

Mannerly Dining
• Properly setting the table
• Using the right fork (and spoon) at the right time and in the right way
• At the table: proper dining (and eating) skills, breaking bread, soup and salad rules, follow the leader skills
• Dining out skills: when you’re a guest, in a restaurant
• Making the most of a toast

Why are manners so important?
While we live in a different time and have a different way of doing things than our grandparents did when they were growing up and raising their families, what hasn't changed are the core values that they taught their kids and our parents taught us.

Regardless of how much things change, certain things stay the same. Having the skills to interact with our fellow man will be necessary throughout our lives, whether we are navigating classrooms, attending a dance, interviewing for college or a new job, navigating a boardroom, traveling to other states or countries, getting married or family reunions!

Giving children the skills they need to be comfortable and confident in their ability to handle life's social activities early in life just helps them be more confident and successful people forever.

Social Survival Skills
More than knowing what fork or spoon to use, Social Survival Skills are about treating others with respect and value. Manners make life more pleasant for everyone. If we encounter someone who treats us in a rude or disrespectful way, it affects us. It may ruin our experience or it may ruin our day. When we deal with people who have solid social skills, we feel more comfortable, we know better what to expect from our interaction.

Program Structure
Those of us who had to endure cotillion may reflect fondly on the experience, but some of us considered it old-fashioned then, and when I was in cotillion it was a very, very long time ago—practically the dark ages. All kidding aside, etiquette can be perceived as being archaic, or even just intimidating. Rather than taking a stiff approach, our program is structured to be in line with world we—and our kids—live in today.

Interactive games, role-playing and speaking to them on their level gives kids the opportunity to have fun while they learn. We begin with the importance of first impressions, shaking hands with confidence, conversation skills, using the proper tone of voice as well as proper dining skills. Handouts and at-home exercises are given so kids can let their parents know what we covered in class as well as allow parents the opportunity to reinforce what kids are working on.

It's never too early, or too late, to learn etiquette. Currently our classes start with second through sixth graders and we continue with age-appropriate class offerings for seventh and eighth graders through high schoolers and adults. We never know how our mix of boys and girls or men and women will turn out from class to class, but we do know that learning social interaction with members of the opposite sex or the same sex are equally important. We are happy to see friends sign up for the same classes so that initial class might not be quite as intimidating. However, once they walk in the door, we assure you, the other kids in class will soon be friends themselves.

If you are anything like all the other parents I know, you have realized that even when they're grown and no longer living with us day-to-day, the job of a parent is never ends. And learning never ends. Each age group will learn new, age-appropriate social skills. New classes and workshops are added with each new season, and we would be happy to hear ideas for more!

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