The dictionary defines etiquette as, “The customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.” A synonym for etiquette is the word manners.
This school year I will be spending a great deal of time working with our students on etiquette. I will have work sheets that can help you work with your kids at home on the manners that we are working on at school. I believe that as we work together on this we can truly have young people who understand how really important practicing manners is to their lives. In reality, teaching our children to love God and love others is really what etiquette is all about.
Many studies have been done that link good manners with success. Children that are well mannered have better relationships with their peers and with adults. They also are seen in a more positive light than those who lack good manners. These studies show that homes where positive manners are practiced are homes with less stress and more peace. Even as adults, studies show that the practice of good manners make you more successful in your profession than those who do not practice them.
I discovered a statistic that should cause all parents to be more aware of how important it is to teach good manners. If you live to be eighty-five, and your children live with you until they reach age eighteen, they, are under your roof for twenty-one percent of your life. Seventy-nine percent of your life will be without daily contact with your children.
Think of that, twenty-one percent is all the time you have with your children, and that’s if you start counting when they are newborns. That is all the time you have to teach them about “intentionally” being kind, humble, unselfish, respectful, loving, and patient. Etiquette at the baseline is Luke 6:31, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."
Teaching our children positive manners is just one of the aspects of “good parenting.” I read the following words one day and they made a lot of sense to me as a parent. “We should never be embarrassed that our child misbehaves. We should only be embarrassed if we fail to deal with our child’s misbehavior."
Matthew 22:36-39 gives two commandments that I believe are the foundational for us teaching good manners to our children. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Please join with me this year in teaching our children the manners that God our Father would want all of us to display in our living. Remember, “Today our children are our shadow. Tomorrow they’ll be our reflection."
I am planning on having a “Manner’s Worksheet” posted every week of two to let you know what we are working on. I invite you to use these worksheets in your home. I look forward to the journey we will take together in helping our children learn the “Lost Art of Etiquette."
May we live Christ Deliberately,