As a parent, I feel like one of my biggest privileges is to have the opportunity to raise my children with proper dignity, grace, and manners. You know those people that you come across every so often who take the time to hold the door open for someone more than 4 feet away... or those who take the extra moment to say, "Hi, how are you?" before leading into their intent behind the text message? When a person displays these types of social graces, it's truly something to treasure.
My mom and grandmother have always taught me (and still do, actually) to be sure to extend certain graces to others... and I wanted to take the time to share some with you.
The best thing about this list is how easy it is to involve your children too!
1. Be a Proper Hostess
- Say "Hello" and offer to take your guest's jacket/handbag for them.
- Introduce people! Even if you think they've already met, always say, "Oh, you know Julie, my mom's cousin, right?" or whatever it may be. It's far better to re-introduce over and over than to put your guests in an uncomfortable situation.
- Offer drinks. Always have coffee and tea on hand.
- Check-in with your guests, and offer to refill drinks, take empty plates, etc.
2. Always Send Thank You Cards
- Trust me. This applies to kids, teens, adults, and even people in business situations. Take the time to get off of the screen and truly show your appreciation with a proper hand-written note.
3. Help Clean.
- No Matter What. Especially at family gatherings like Easter or Thanksgiving.
- Clear the table, do the dishes, put food away, etc.
- Ask what you can do to help if you're unsure.
4. Don't Overstay Your Welcome
- If the person hosting you starts to get antsy, is checking the clock, or asks what your future plans are, etc... it's time to gather your things, pick up your mess, and hit the road!
5. Always Give Your Seat to an Older Adult
- If they say no, get up and insist anyway.
6. Teach kids, especially boys, to pull out chairs and hold doors open
- A gentleman holding open a car door for a woman is truly a lost art of chivalry.
7. Have Tact
- Maintain a strong sense of what not to say and what may offend others. Keep in good relations with all parties... as to "not ruffle any feathers", some would say.
8. Respect the Privacy of Others
- Knocking before entering; not rummaging through others people's personal items, etc.
- Don't put your nose in places it doesn't belong.
9. ... and probably my favorite, remember that the true test in showing grace, is tolerating the bad manners and behavior of others.
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