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mommysanders

How can I learn and teach manners?

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Hi everyone,

 

Over the past year, I've slowly started realizing I don't have much knowledge of common manners. I mean, I know the basics like don't talk with your mouth full and don't interrupt others, etc. But I find myself in situations where I don't know what's proper etiquette. Things like how to use the utensils appropriately, the best way to introduce two people, etc. Maybe that's more than just "common manners". Is there a book, video series, curriculum, anything that can help me learn this and also something I can use to teach my children? My kids are young right now, but they're interested in learning. I thought maybe this would be something we can focus on over the summer break.

 

In case it's interesting to anyone, I found out I needed to learn more table manners because I now live in Europe and some of the manners are different here. For example, you typically always keep your knife and fork in each hand without setting them down. Then you just sort of push food up onto your fork and eat. But I'm pretty sure in America you're supposed to cut your food, then set down your knife, then eat from the fork. At least I think so? See, I need help! Haha!

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We've used 365 Manners Kids Should Know as part of our Morning Basket before. (Not all the time, but we work through it here and there; the kids think it's fun!) Maybe something like that would work for you?

 

This book, Modern Manners also looks good. (I've never read it, but it came up in my Amazon search when I was looking for the other one, and it looks like a good resource for adults! I added it to my future reference wishlist...) 

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Hi everyone,

 

Over the past year, I've slowly started realizing I don't have much knowledge of common manners. I mean, I know the basics like don't talk with your mouth full and don't interrupt others, etc. But I find myself in situations where I don't know what's proper etiquette. Things like how to use the utensils appropriately, the best way to introduce two people, etc. Maybe that's more than just "common manners". Is there a book, video series, curriculum, anything that can help me learn this and also something I can use to teach my children? My kids are young right now, but they're interested in learning. I thought maybe this would be something we can focus on over the summer break.

 

In case it's interesting to anyone, I found out I needed to learn more table manners because I now live in Europe and some of the manners are different here. For example, you typically always keep your knife and fork in each hand without setting them down. Then you just sort of push food up onto your fork and eat. But I'm pretty sure in America you're supposed to cut your food, then set down your knife, then eat from the fork. At least I think so? See, I need help! Haha!

 

Judith Martin's "Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Etiquette."  It's great fun to read, unlike some etiquette books which are just boring. You learn so much from reading it, and sometimes you LOL at the same time. :-) There's also "Miss Manners' Guide to Rearing Perfect Children." I love that, too. :-)

 

And yes, you are correct: In the U.S. we are supposed to do the whole switching-back-and-forth with the knife and fork. You're in Europe, so eat as they do. :-)

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We've used 365 Manners Kids Should Know as part of our Morning Basket before. (Not all the time, but we work through it here and there; the kids think it's fun!) Maybe something like that would work for you?

 

This book, Modern Manners also looks good. (I've never read it, but it came up in my Amazon search when I was looking for the other one, and it looks like a good resource for adults! I added it to my future reference wishlist...)

We also have the 365 Manners book and use it in our morning basket with kids together - and have them practice.

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And yes, you are correct: In the U.S. we are supposed to do the whole switching-back-and-forth with the knife and fork. You're in Europe, so eat as they do. :-)

Continental style table manners are perfectly acceptable in the US. American style, while perfectly acceptable in Europe, will make you look like somewhat of a rube. (Oh, and don't keep your hand in your lap.) I actually know very few people who use American style even in the US. If you have to teach your children one, I would go with Continental. 

Edited by bibiche

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Continental style table manners are perfectly acceptable in the US. American style, while perfectly acceptable in Europe, will make you look like somewhat of a rube. (Oh, and don't keep your hand in your lap.) I actually know very few people who use American style even in the US. If you have to teach your children one, I would go with Continental.

I am glad to hear that the Continental style is acceptable here. I must say that the American style is not very efficient. I have tried at times to follow it but I just can't for the life of me get used to it!

Edited by Mabelen

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My boys are reading 50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know at the moment and It looks great!

There is identical one for young ladies too.

 

 

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I also like some of the Montessori style etiquette lessons on the net. I feel like they helped my younger one be the confident sociable little friend he is.

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And yes, you are correct: In the U.S. we are supposed to do the whole switching-back-and-forth with the knife and fork. You're in Europe, so eat as they do. :-)

 

 

Huh, the things you learn... I assumed that it was mostly a class difference. So, if you're at an important function involving the upper echelons of US society, do you use American style or Continental style? I always assumed Continental, but now y'all are having me doubt myself.

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Where I live it would be seen as a regional difference, as the wealthy and powerful people here still eat US style. In NYC I was informed me that "anyone who is anyone" eats European style. So, perhaps it's more of a combination.

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