Let’s face it. Our children have beautiful smiles! There are lots of ways to get a smile. I saw this on a tea bag once and a Google search credits it to Phyllis Diller. “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight..” I’m all too guilty of being too rushed to just reflect the smile back to my children or to calm their worries with a smile. The Shake How many times have you experienced an awkward handshake? The other person doesn’t make any indication that they are going to make their hand available for a shake. They extend their hand but it just hangs there. They shake so firmly that inside your head you are saying, “What the heck!? Too firm!” Very often, children don’t expect that others are going to acknowledge them with a handshake. When an adult, or even another child extends their hand to your child, I’m sure you would feel best if your child had the experience and confidence to reach out their hand. In class we practiced weekly handshakes and even had some fun with it. We evaluated, “Too firm.” “Awkward.” “Wet noodle.” “Just right.” Here, you can see a very confident young lady practicing her skill, with her younger sister looking on.
What to do with the Napkin?
If you look around at the guests at your own table and neighboring tables you will see that it is entirely NOT obvious to many what should be done with the napkin. In class, our girls took great pleasure in unfolding their napkin to the half fold and placing it on their lap with the folded side at the waist and you can see them using this skill at the Chatham Bars Inn!
“A little silence is normal. A lot of silence is awkward. Pleasant conversations and don’t leave anyone out.” These were my words every week to the small groups of girls practicing tea and cookies.
It isn’t a big surprise that without guidance and expectations, girls and boys can find their topics trailing off on the silly and even rude path. Next thing you know, you’ve got a giggle attack! Don’t get me wrong. I have had my share of Thanksgiving dinners where someone, inevitably ends up blowing milk out their nose because of that cousin who can’t keep it appropriate! That might be fine for slumber parties or beach picnics, but not expected during most dining experiences.
In class, we had some girls who knew each other and some who didn’t. They learned how important it is to notice when someone isn’t contributing to the conversations and how to bring them in. You all know, there are adults who haven’t even mastered this skill.
Fingers or Fork and Knife?
In class we played a guessing game with a list of foods for this question. I was very impressed to hear the girls quietly and politely asking how to approach the bacon at CBI. The beauty here…they had been taught to ask questions if they weren’t sure, and they did ask. They remembered the game and its purpose. They desired to do it correctly and their questions were based in wanting to eat their bacon confidently, rather than be nervous about making a mistake. Btw, exceedingly crunchy bacon should be picked up with fingers, even in a fancy restaurant, otherwise, cut with fork and knife. However, two fingers should be used rather than gripping the bacon like an ice cream cone. Here you see our youngest student, 5 years old!!! happily and confidently attending the very fancy breakfast at CBI (and loving her bacon)!
Sorry no classes posted yet. Will do asap. I’m gearing up for a trip to Arizona for intensive training in hypnotherapy. Still planning classes for September.
Put manners together with confidence and our young people are going to be winners and leaders!