Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Etiquette = Manners + Principles

My father was a tough Texas man who ruled firmly and raised his kids with high expectations.  From a very young age we were taught manners and we were expected to use them at all times.  We learned how to greet people properly, to introduce ourselves and master a cordial greeting.  There were times that it seemed like harsh lessons as a kid but now as an adult I can appreciate his teachings.  When we ate at restaurants we had to clean-up after we finished eating.  We weren't allowed to rush into people's houses or raid their refrigerators.  If adults came over to visit my parents we knew not to interrupt their conversation.  I credit my father for many of my social skills.  He wasn't rich or college educated, but he carried himself with pride and respect. 

A well mannered child is truly a good reflection  on the parent.  Etiquette changes through the centuries and decades, and they will continue to evolve. There are lots of areas in our life where old etiquette rules still apply, but we need to balance them out to suite the 21st century.  With social media being the norm for most people, learning about media etiquette is vitally important. Etiquette training can start as young as 2 years old with simple lessons of "thank you" and "please".  Teenagers can really benefit from etiquette in order to help preserve their personal values.  I have tried to raise my 2 teen kids with the same type of values and manners that my father taught me.  I'm blessed because they are very well behaved and considerate, and I attribute that to the teachings of my father.  Much credit must also be given to Mrs. Emily Post.  She shared her love for social conduct throughout the world and set a foundation for people to follow. 

Emily Post was born in Baltimore, Maryland on October 27, 1872 educated by governesses and at private schools in Baltimore and New York. She spent her summers at Bar Harbor and Tuxedo Park, which her father Bruce Price, a prominent architect, had been commissioned to design and develop.  The season of her debut Emily Price met Edwin Post, her husband-to-be, at a ball in one of Fifth Avenue’s elegant mansions. Following a fashionable wedding and a honeymoon tour of the Continent, Mrs. Post’s first home was in New York’s Washington Square. After publication in 1922, her book, “Etiquette”, topped the nonfiction bestseller list, and the phrase "according to Emily Post" soon entered our language as the last word on the subject of social conduct.

Etiquette = Manners + Principles. As in any equation, all parts are necessary to make it work. The manners are the tools or skills that you use to show the principles that are the foundation of etiquette : respect, consideration, and honesty. You really can’t have etiquette without both.  Etiquette is about relationship;it's about how we get along with each other.
Top Table Manners... What Every Kid Should Know!
Come to the table with clean hands and face.
Put your napkin on your lap.
Start eating when everyone else does – or when given the OK to start.
Stay seated and sit up straight.
Keep elbows (and other body parts!) off the table while eating.
Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk until you’ve swallowed.
Don’t make bad comments about the food.
Say “Please pass the ---” instead of reaching.
Chat with everyone at the table.
Don’t make rude noises like burping or slurping.
Ask to be excused when finished.
Thank your host or whoever prepared the meal.
Offer to help clear the table.
by Emily Post


  1. Thanks so much for dropping by the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop! I'm a follower and I hope you'll stop by again soon! Have a great day! :)


  2. Nice post. My parents always raised me and my sisters to grow up with good manners. Of course, they definitely weren't as strict as your father (we never had to ask to get up from the table or put napkins in our laps). However, I firmly believe in being polite and having good manners.

    Stopping by and following from the "Welcome Wednesday" blog hop. Would love a follow back :)



  3. Hi there- visiting from the blog hop! Would love a follow back :0)



  4. Love this ... and my daughters WILL mary a southern boy becuase the ones I know are sooo polite! I'm your latest GFC follower from Welcome Wednesday. Hope you can stop by my place soon and return the favor.

  5. hi there....over from three 4 and under hop. I'm printing out the table manners. Thanks for sharing. Glad I found you!

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  7. I love that statement, Etiquette = Manners + Principles. I think both are severely lacking in today's society. As a Christian mom, I try to instill in my boys that we do everything unto the Lord. I wish more people lived their lives this way.

    Thanks for putting together that great post!

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  8. Iwas raised the same way. My father had a 4th grade education and worked for 47 years in the CF&I steel corp. He was the smartest man I ever knew. We always knew our place as children. That is truly a sorry social skill today, so many people choose not to train up their children properly. Thank you for this wonderful post. Anne