If there’s one skill in life children need to learn, it is how to treat others respectfully. Especially in this age of aggression and bullying, where violent acts are newscast daily, today’s kids need to learn how to value others, to consider other people’s feelings, and to think, speak, and act appropriately—to help make others feel comfortable and valued.
Enter, the Etiquette Factory.
The Etiquette Factory is a unique, 3-phase learning system designed by certified etiquette instructor Monica Irvine “to change the world, one child at a time.” The program provides parents tools to educate their children in the art of etiquette, to help ensure the next generation’s success on both personal and professional levels as they go through life.
Courses of instruction are organized into three levels: beginner for Kindergarten through 3rd grade, intermediate for 4th grade and up, and masters for teens and high schoolers. I received the intermediate and masters books to review. You can learn more about the beginner portion at Mosaic Reviews.
One thing that’s great about the Etiquette Factory materials is that although there is a skill level progression, the lessons can be taught across varying ages. My kids range from age 7 to 17, and all three were able to benefit from these courses. My younger children focus on learning the message, while my older one—who already has a lot of these skills mastered—helps instruct them and leads them by his example.
The intermediate book contains 125 daily, 1-2 page lessons. Each discusses a particular topic and offers an application. It’s that simple. And because children are being taught these skills in a non-intimidating atmosphere (i.e., when they’re not getting fussed at for not using manners), they soak it up! Topics vary from table setting to gift giving to cell phone and social networking etiquette. I did have to laugh when I saw the “Exiting and Entering an Elevator” one, though, because it reminded me of something my high school psychology teacher liked to do—something that was definitely not proper etiquette! He, in the interest of psychology, liked to get into crowded elevators and continue facing the back, instead of turning around to face the doors like most people do. As you can imagine, he received many disturbed reactions! The Etiquette Factory does not advise this behavior.
The masters level is a much smaller book that contains just 10 chapters. It takes those manner skills that have already been learned and drives them home. It applies those skills to real-world behavior and instructs teens in things like job hunting, dating etiquette, and life beyond high school.
I think a lot of times when kids hear the word “etiquette” or even “manners,” they roll their eyes and imagine a world of stuffy gatherings with stodgy grownups, where the air is tense and all eyes are on them. No! The Etiquette Factory simply helps kids treat others with kindness and compassion, and it is very applicable to today’s lifestyle. I highly recommend it!
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