Thursday, March 31, 2016

YM/YW Etiquette Night

Over the past few months I've been asked to teach etiquette to young men and young women 2 different times. This has been a fun experience to reflect and write down what I know and do a little research. I'm thankful my parents and grandparents were strict with good manners when I was young. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but now that I'm older and teaching my children I can see the benefit of learning good manners. Good manners don't happen over night. It takes years of training. YM & YW need to know the basics! Most basics are not taught or enforced at home. Teach and educate them NOW and set them up for a "polite" future.


These are my typed up notes of what I went over and demonstrated. We had a 4 course meal at one activity with both YM & YW and a "tea party" at another with just the YW.

The 4 course meal included
Soup
Salad
Entree
Dessert

The Tea Party
Cookies
Mini Cupcakes
Small sandwiches
Crackers and dip
Hot Chocolate
Hot Tang/Juice
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INTRO - Why do we need good manners?

Why do we need good manners? Are we not all children of a King? We are all princes and princesses and are expected to behave as such.

We need to act with the utmost decorum for dates, meeting future in-laws, business dinners, dances and more. Presenting yourself properly, and behaving in a dignified manner is what being royal is all about. First impressions last a lifetime whether it's over a meal or in public.

Sitting in a chair

Sit up straight - DON'T SLOUCH (it's not attractive) 
(Demonstrate how silly a forward and backward slouch looks)

When sitting ESPECIALLY in a dress or skirt,
KNEES SHOULD BE TOUCHING! 
(Your underwear may be cute, but we really don't want to see it!)

Table Etiquette - Serving and being served

When setting the table, knife blades should always be facing the plate.

Present an average table setting or have the youth set their own place and tell them what is right and what is wrong.
(2 forks, 2 spoons, 1 knife, napkin, dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, water glass)

When going to a fancier restaurant and seeing lots of silverware - just remember WORK YOUR WAY FROM THE OUTSIDE IN.

Serve from the LEFT
REMOVE from the RIGHT

Pass food in a counterclockwise motion or to the RIGHT
"It is always the RIGHT way when passing food"

DO NOT BEGIN EATING UNTIL EVERYONE IS SERVED!

Hold your utensil properly. 
(Do not act as if you are shoveling the food into your mouth.)

When finished with your plate, do not push it away or place your napkin on top. 
Act as if your plate was the face of a clock, you would place both handles of your utensils on the number 4.

If you have to yawn....COVER YOUR MOUTH! Nothing is attractive about a HUGE gaping mouth open wide for all to see! COVER YOUR MOUTH! 

*Say you're on a first or important date, you may want to keep in mind, some foods are messier to eat than others. What would you rather? A clean face with something you can use utensils? Or something that is messy or you have to eat with your hands? First impressions last a lifetime.

Top 10 Basic Table Manners

1. Chew with your mouth closed

2. Avoid slurping, smacking, blowing your nose or other gross noises. 
(If necessary, excuse yourself to take care of whatever it is you need to take care of.)

3. Hold your utensil properly, don't stab or shovel your food.

4. Don't pick your teeth at the table.

5. Remember to use your napkin at all times.

6. Wait until you're done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (No floaties allowed!)
(The exception is if you're choking - please drink if you're choking)

7. Cut no more than 3 pieces of food at a time. 
(The most logical answer of why, is so your food doesn't get cold!)

8. Avoid slouching and placing your elbows on the table while eating.
(Although it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses)

9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.

10. Always say 'excuse me' whenever you leave the table.

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Having good manners in LIFE!

BE RESPECTFUL TO EVERYONE
We always need to respect the golden rule.
"Treat others the way you want to be treated."
Young, Old, Male & Female.

Rumors and gossip is sadly part of life. But... it is YOUR CHOICE whether you want to participate in the continuous spreading of those rumors. How would you feel if those rumors were about you? Respecting others and seeing those around your with God's eyes will change your perspective and bring you joy.

Make sure all of your interactions with those around you reflect positive feedback- not negative. Everyone around you are always watching. You may not realize how much you are under the microscope. Would your parents be pleased with your actions? Would your bad habits and manners affect your future children? Most importantly, how would your Father in Heaven think of your words and actions?

"It's never RIGHT to do WRONG"
"It's never WRONG to do RIGHT"

The perfect example of how you should act and behave was our Savior Jesus Christ.
Ask yourself in ANY situation, "What would Jesus do?"

Smile and BE HAPPY!
Everyone gravitates towards happiness. Be a MAGNET! Shine your smile and have a happy disposition. No one wants to be around others who always find bad in the world. Gratitude is the true base of happiness.

PUNCTUALITY! 
Being punctual or "on time" is polite. Tardiness or always running late is rude. It shows your lack of preparation. Plan and prepare ahead of time. How long is the drive to the destination? How long does it take to get ready?
(Always take into consideration that it takes at least 2-3 minutes to put on your shoes and get in the car before you actually start to drive.)
Girls, be ready for your date when they have specified. It is extremely akward for a date to wait over 5 minutes for you.
Boys, always be on time. There is nothing worse than waiting on your date to arrive.
(I would know- my date showed up 1 hour late for HOMECOMING! I WAS TICKED! Not a good way to start the evening)

PHONES
Cell phones are an amazing tool. They keep us connected to those around us. But phones are a HUGE distraction. You may physically be in an area, but when scrolling through facebook or pinterest keeps you mentally from the conversation and the space you are literally in.

Phone usage needs to be practically eliminated during dates, dinners and family activities. You can't gain the experiences everyone posts on facebook if you're always on the phone and never out making them.

APPAREL
You may not realize that you appearance can come across as polite or rude. Be confident and comfortable in your apparel but, don't wear things that are too tight, baggy, or show too much skin. There is a proper way to dress. And showing off your body or not even getting ready are not polite. Wearing pajamas, yoga pants, sweat pants, basketball shorts etc. are a sign of laziness and lack of preparation. Wake up 1 minute earlier and throw on some JEANS for goodness sakes! Don't be looked upon as lazy or unkept.

Manners at the table and manners in life will keep you polite and positive.
Remember-
Practice makes Perfect

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This was a VERY fun activity and I think a good reminder to youth and adults to always have good manners in life and at the table. When practiced and used regularly, good etiquette lasts a lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this help. I am teaching YM YW this week and appreciate all that you covered. I think the young people don't always understand the depth and breadth of manners. This is a great presentation.

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