Written By Daleen Taylor (Founder of Manners4Minors)
I remember the first call I got enquiring about the Manners4Minors! I remember the first registration I received! My journey has been exquisite … a roller coaster ride for sure, but oh-so-real. To develop something and put it out there for the world to assess and judge is not for the faint-hearted. Many a time I was so tempted to choose the option of staying in the comfort zone where I would not be criticised or hurt. I am so thankful I remained focussed on my mission …. Literally thousands of children’s lives have been changed forever by the Manners4Minors program since then, and the numbers of registrations grow annually consistently.
Now continue the journey where I get to rejoice with my Miss/Mr Manners (they are my group of angels who teach around the country) when they receive their first call and pick up their first registration! The joy is unexplainable and my air-fist is even stronger than for myself.
The feedback from parents and teachers is, of course, the icing on the cake. I read these with such awe. They are thanking me?? Did I initiate this?? I remember where I was sitting when I said to my husband “I have an idea.” It’s a really weird concept for me to try to explain without seeming boastful (and THAT would just not be cool – Princess Penny would be very disappointed in me). Of course many, many people participated in the final product – some will be named and some won’t – some with wonderful positive energy and some not! Thank you to all for your contribution – whether it was for my benefit or learning.
I would battle to explain the explosion of pride when I visited the home of people I did not know to meet up with a friend from England when I saw a Manners4Minors worksheet pinned up onto the fridge. Total mind freak!
The most prevalent observation that I have after all these years is the effect Manners4Minors has on children’s conscience. I cannot promise that they will leave a lesson and not make unwise choices, but what I do know for sure is that they will KNOW they are making the incorrect decision regarding their behaviour. I call it the privilege of conscience … you can only have conscience if you have the information and understand the choices you have and consequence thereof.
Once you know … you KNOW forever. We cannot un-know what we are exposed to and the mission of every Miss/Mr Manners is to plant the little seeds of willingness to please, empathy, consideration for other’s feelings, honesty and goodwill unto mankind which will form and become the core value system which drives these precious little beings into effective young adults and future leaders.
So, although we teach very important practical behaviour skills like table setting, restaurant behaviour, good sportsmanship, the hidden-curriculum which affects the brain-wiring at this crucial age regarding ATTITUDE is at work and is the real star of the show.
“Manners is the careful consideration of the feelings of others, irrespective of which fork you use” – Emily Post.
My grandson Aaryn, 3. His development is 100% influenced by Manners4Minors and I get such a thrill when I hear him refer to Aunty Bee (his Miss Manners) and the puppets in his everyday conversation. My heart beams when I hear his Mom and Dad discuss the Home Merit Chart and the number of stars he has left to achieve his reward. I know Head Office has just released a YouTube Explanation of the Home Merit Chart (which is so effective in the relationship between the child, the parent and Miss Manners) and I am sure they will link it here somewhere should you want to use it.
What Is Manners4Minors?
Manners4Minors is offered Nationally, and Internationally, by schools as a co-curricular or extra-mural programme at your school on a weekly basis by Miss Manners. MANNERS4MINORS is not a cultural program but rather a fun, interactive way of introducing young children to the benefits of behaving and using manners that are universally accepted. MISS MANNERS, as the teacher of the program is known, will demonstrate that behaving in a particular way will ensure that you are liked by your teachers, accepted by your friends and you will have a better chance in life - a well mannered child that becomes a well mannered adult has an enormous advantage over his peers.