Swiping food from grandma’s plate, forgetting to say thank you to auntie who splurged on the X-Box, or interrupting during a big family announcement with pointless tattle-telling…Has this last round of holiday dinners left you wondering if your kids were actually raised by a pack of wolves? Never fear—we’ve rounded up some of the most fun places where kids can be schooled on social graces and modern manners. No need to thank us.
Sidwell Friends School
Crystal Bailey says it was her classy godmother that encouraged her to learn and teach good manners. Now the Director of the Etiquette Institute of Washington, she teaches table manners and “netiquette” to kids. Her mantra? An attitude of gratitude starts at a young age (#touche). Bailey says six to seven years old is the “sweet spot” to start teaching manners. Her three-week class at Sidwell Friends School starts at seven years old, so until then you’re in charge of making sure Junior doesn’t pick his nose at the table.
When: Wednesdays, year-round (6:30 pm-7:30 pm)
Cost: $175/per three-week session
3825 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (Cleveland Park)
The Dandelion Patch
Christine Chen of Global Professional Protocol is an expert on filling young people in on why manners matter. For two decades she’s been teaching children (and grown-ups) the importance of good etiquette. She focuses on role playing, where—for example—kids dress as knights to explain a handshake. But Chen goes beyond the meaningful handshake. Kids also learn about social media manners, how to properly say thank you, and the fine art of letter writing.
When: Jan. 21
111 Church Street, NW (Vienna, Va)
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City
If your kids already know the basics of etiquette, take them to The Ritz where they can practice their Ps and Qs over afternoon tea. At the Teddy Bear Children’s Tea, kids will love the selection of sandwiches and pastries sized just for them. If she’s not into an herbal blend, ask for hot cocoa, which will keep her warm and on her best behavior. Honestly, though, is there a better way to encourage grown-up attitude (from adults, too) like tea at the Ritz!
When: Saturdays, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm; Sundays, 3 pm-4:30 pm
Ages: 5 and up
1250 South Hayes St. (Arlington, Va)
How do you teach your kids good manners and etiquette? Tell us in the comments section below.
Photo courtesy of Etikids via Flickr