Books Children

Thoughts on Manners

I’ve always been interested in manners. I’ve studied manners since I was a child: how to address dignitaries, which fork to use, and how to shake hands  are subjects I’ve studied. To be sure, I’ve yet to meet the Queen or a foreign dignitary, however, I did see Her Majesty when she rode by with her entourage in downtown San Antonio in the 90s.

Over the course of my career and personal life, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in many situations in which I’ve used the manners I learned as a child or have had to acquire quickly so as not to look like a buffoon.  As social mores become more relaxed than ever, you may think that there is no need for manners; after all, women aren’t wearing gloves anymore and don’t require a man to pull out their chair. Given our more relaxed society, I say that manners are needed even more. Everyone values respect: gangs fight over it, men fight when their women are disrespected, and minority groups all over the globe fight for the respect they deserve.

Manners may help you avoid an accidental disrespect (hence the slang term ‘dis’) of someone and potential embarrassment or gang fight or lost job opportunity.  Additionally, with the globe becoming smaller we are interacting more with people of different values and cultures (and yummy food) and it’s important we treat others as we’d like to be treated (am I channeling something your mother used to say?).  And that treatment is called respect. And how do you manifest respect?


I’ve recently finished the book: Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top by Dorothea Johnson and I thought it might be interesting to begin a discussion about manners.

modern manners

I’ll discuss manners, etiquette, and protocol in subsequent posts.  Additionally, I teach a manners lesson monthly to little tea party goers at the bookstore, which is more about having fun, but somehow, they get it.

I hope you’ll join me in this manners discussion.  Tell me the ONE manners rule you abide by EVERY DAY.

I’ll start:  I say good morning or good evening to everyone I meet.

You next…

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.

9 replies on “Thoughts on Manners”

I think a simple please and thank you are very important!

I have worked hard with my own children and the children I have had in my care at school and church activities to always teach and expect them to use manners. My children even went to etiquette camp.
Personally I make sure I say please and thank you all of the time.

Did they happen to mention not being on your phone when someone is trying to speak to you? That really bugs me!

I always say please and thank you!! I wish I was closer my princess would love having tea with Pam the queen of the unconventional library! 😉

the interesting thing about manners is that if we ALL learned them, how come so few people are using them??

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