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Debate About Etiquette Classes for Children

Tell Mommy: Should We Reinstate Etiquette Classes For Tikes?

There was a time, not so long ago, when etiquette was not only taught at home, but in classes outside of school. Parents sent their lil ones to seminars to learn about proper salutations, placement of eating utensils and everyday social graces. A dining experience at a restaurant recently made me wonder if our generation of parents should seek out such classes for our kids. As I watched tots of all ages running around the restaurant — some throwing food to get their parents' attention — I could only imagine what Emily Post would have said if she were alive to have witnessed the scene.

A colleague recently told me about the etiquette classes her grandmother sent her to at Lord and Taylor as a child. She learned the proper placement of silverware at the table, where to put her napkin at different points in the meal and how to excuse herself from the table. While she may have learned these nuggets at 12, she carries them with her today and tries to instill them in her preschool-aged son on a daily basis. While he still has his moments where he is almost swinging from the rafters, he knows that noodles must be eaten with a fork, rather than his fingers.

Aimee Symington recently introduced an etiquette board game, Blunders, to teach manners and polite behavior in a fun and exciting way. Would you buy it or send your child to etiquette class?

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