Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

The Hungry Hoard At My Table

As another round of holiday meals is approaching I thought I’d share…

Some of my fondest memories are of large holiday gatherings. When the gathering is happening in my house you can be sure that I’m going all out to make it a special occasion. I plan out my menu. I shop with careful consideration of every part of the meal. I try to be innovative and definitely festive. Being a designer I take special care to decorate and present my creation in a way that I hope will bring delight to my guests the moment they see my handiwork. It is with great pride and anticipation that I put myself through the rigors of preparation and presentation. While this might sound like a lot of self-inflicted angst, it is always a labor of love. The moment I hear the praise of “what a lovely table,” or “something smells good,” I know I’m on the track to success.

There is one element of this process that I have no control over. It is the hungry hoard that pounces on my table before I’ve had a chance to thoroughly secure it. Read the rest of this entry »

Think. Filter. Speak.

I grew up in a family predominantly female. It figures that when my time to be a mother came around I’d only have boys. Being the sole female in the house turned out to be quite interesting. A quick adjustment to a less feminine environment accompanied by manly interests in sports and the like changed my focus from the fashionable to the more earthy, shall we say. Issues with decorum were met daily. One particular bee in my bonnet was the free flowing, let-er-rip style that was most prevalent around the dinner table. Oh, it was there all day long. It merely manifested itself into its ultimate smack down at dinnertime.

There is no need to elaborate on the specifics of these conversations. It doesn’t take much to imagine how these dialogues flowed. Let’s just say that the choice of words and topics were more crude, rude, and lewd at times than I could handle. Being the mom in a house of men you have to roll with the punches. You let out a little line and when they’ve roamed into dangerous territory you jerk them back in to propriety.

My answer to this problem were three simple words. Think. Filter. Speak.

To this day all I have to do is say those three words and my guys know exactly where I’m at. They know that I think they’ve crossed the line. I’m sick of hearing it. Nip it!  Take a lock! Immediately they will make fun of me and taunt me about my inability to handle them. It’s up to me to then make it perfectly clear that I see no humor in the conversation. I do not enjoy the choice of words. You better Think about what you are about to say. Filter it so it is something that will be deemed acceptable. And finally, and only after the first two requirements have been met, Speak.

My ability to monitor conversations over the years has proven invaluable. We can be anywhere and all I have to do is say Think. Filter. Speak. and there is an immediate pause. That is usually followed by a seque out of the muck and into greener pastures. This simple message to my boys has saved me embarrassment on numerous occasions. I don’t know if it will work in your household. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose – except some less than desirable adjectives, nouns, and verbs.


By Gret Boyd


How Do Your Kids Say “Thank You”?

Gift-giving season has ended and I’m wondering, “How do your kids say Thank You? Seems there are some differences of opinion as to the importance of teaching a child how to acknowledge a gift and following it up with a Thank You. I doubt anyone would actually feel that the simple act of saying Thank You is a bad thing. Yet, more and more parents seem to lack the skill or desire to pass along this simple skill.

Time passes but rules of etiquette last forever. A child who says Please and Thank You stands out in a crowd of kids who lack this social skill. For some it may seem old-fashioned to focus on a Thank You. When, exactly, did manners go out of style?

We are just a few days past Christmas and Hanukkah and your kids probably received some wonderful gifts. Those gifts were given with the hope of experiencing the joy they would bring to the recipient. If you live far from family members you should realize that gifts given at this time of year are a way of reconnecting. A way of expressing love. A way of inciting a conversation that enables the gift giver and recipient to reinforce their emotional bond. Trust me, grandparents are waiting to hear if the gift they sent was liked. Did it put a smile on a grandchild’s face? Are they enjoying playing with that toy? Simply, are the grandkids thinking of them?

So how do your kids say Thank You? There was a time when a hand-written note sent by mail was the only proper way to do it. I have to say I would be just as touched by a Thank You that arrives via a phone call, email, social media, or Skype. It’s not so much how it arrive but that it does arrive. That two-minute phone call brings joy to the heart of a grandparent. An email to Aunt Mary saying Thank You puts a smile on her face. It lets her know that her efforts and expression of emotion were received and appreciated. A Thank You post on Facebook to a sister who lives far away helps to rekindle the spark between siblings. Any Thank You  automatically tells the gift giver that they are being thought of and appreciated. Best of all, a Thank You starts a conversation. It allows people to connect. Smile. Cry. Hug. Smile some more. Most of all, it allow the gift giver to know that you care for them as much as they care for you.

There’s no reason to wait – say Thank You today.

Here’s a list of 25 Manners Every Kid Should Know By Age 9. Do your kids follow these rules?
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