Tip of the Week
Insurance Against Mediocrity
What it is: Socially acceptable ways of acting based
on the social norms and customs of the
Important: Manners demonstrate to others the level
of respect you have for them . . . and yourself. Your manners influence the respect you
receive from others in return.
The Problem: Entitled Mindset
An entitled mindset creates a self-centered
attitude that consider ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ phony and demeaning. Manners become a social
contract during the
Renaissance Period as a response to the violence and crude behaviors of the Medieval Period before.
Lessons learned from the Bubonic Plague included voluntary limitations on one’s behavior to promote the health and
welfare of the community.
a bit heavy
My point is simply that manners aren’t just
niceties that we have to do just because someone said we had to; they are important behaviors that help us stay
connected to a community that supports and respects us..
The Tip: Placemats &
Consciously design different table setting
options and observe the natural affect the environment has on your child’s table
Step 1: Select a common
meal that you have both at home and restaurants, e.g., hamburger, spaghetti, etc.
Step 2: Serve the
meal twice without changing any normal table setting conditions. For example, I normally use
placemats directly on the kitchen table or at the kitchen counter. For this step, just go about
your meals business-as-usual, but objectively observe the patterns such as:
· Napkin in laps
· Elbows on table
· Talking with food in the mouth
· Reaching for stuff
· Seated squarely facing the table
· Staying in the seat for the entire
· Observe the business-as-usual meal at least twice to
be sure you validate your observations as true patterns.
down your observations immediately
after the meal while the experience is fresh.
Change something about business-as-usual and observe twice more. For example, remove the placemat, change the placemat
to a new shape or color, add a tablecloth, change seat assignments, change the way food is placed on the table,
Share the experiment and your observations with your family. Ask curious questions and ask for input that might make mealtime easier. Jot
down the suggestions.
Step 5: Experiment
again with one of the suggestions, but this time let your family in on the whole thing and debrief
the experience during dinner.
Collaboration – You’ll transform nagging about manners into
collaboration for solutions that your whole family will own.
Peaceful Meals –
Talk of elbows and napkins becomes curious and non-judgmental.
Improved Manners –
Need I say more?
Articles: Children are
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