Got Manners?

Ashlee, Mynita "Angel," Serraya, "Bubbe"

Tea Party At Its Finest~~Pella, Iowa

What do you have when you combine a Bavarian china tea set, mother,  grandmother (“Bubbe”), and twin girls? Sounds like a tea party to me. Add manners and you’ve got the perfect social event, lessons and laughter.

eBaylace 004

High Tea with the Queen

Once I offered to pay one dollar to the granddaughter who had her napkin on her lap without being told. If I said, “Napkin check,” and they had it on their lap, they collected on my offer. This could not go on forever or I’d be broke. But after five years, they continue to use their napkins properly (most of the time). Pretty good use of a dollar, wouldn’t you say?

I’m currently working on a devotional book, Code of Conduct, based on etiquette…for adults. Each day will focus on a different rule intended to make others feel comfortable. Good manners stem from respect for other people, even those of a different background, race, or creed. It’s about more than which fork to use.

When thinking about ethics, etiquette, and manners, the most basic source of teaching is in the Bible. The Golden Rule and Jesus’ teachings are the foundation of proper manners.

In my preliminary research I’ve discovered that many devotionals are tied to ethics, proper behavior, decorum, and etiquette. Some have been published in print or electronically by various authors over a period of years. As early as 1898, a “Good Manners” chart was issued to Queensland schools by the UK’s governmental education department.


Emily Post (1872 – 1960) taught the world how to behave politely. More than ever, our rude and crude culture needs the lessons she taught. Proper behavior never goes out of style. Post’s books are in high demand today, even 53 years after her death.

The Bible is in high demand, too, as our primary source for civility in an uncivilized world. So, show your manners in such a way that no one will need to ask, “Got manners?”

How do you teach manners to your children? In what situation were you glad you knew proper etiquette? Remember, good manners are not just for the elite; they are for everyone who cares about people.

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8 Responses to Got Manners?

  1. Pingback: Got Manners? | Lifelineslegacy's Blog

  2. Floyd says:

    My mom taught us all about manners and though we had little, she folded paper napkins and set a proper setting every night. I may have forgotten more than I learned!

    I like the respect aspect of manners, never thought of it that way. Makes sense. Adorable picture!

    • Floyd, We had very little by way of material things, too. I can say this, my father and mother knew how to dress like the well-to-do, and they acted properly. I learned by example more than anything. We can thank God for good parents. Thanks for your response, Floyd. I can always count on you.

  3. Deborah Hamel says:

    Another thought provoking post, Effie. Thank you for reminding me that my father was strict concerning manners, each day of my growing up years provided opportunities to practice. I followed through with my two children. As young adults, they speak of how many opportunities have come their way, and how confident they feel in social situations, just because of their knowledge and practice of good manners. They both have a copy of Emily Post, and use it. It is a matter of honoring self, others and God to establish both balance and consistency in life.

    Good post! Keep up the good work, Effie. You are making a difference.

    • Deb, Your replies are always so thoughtful and encouraging. Thank you! Strange how we grow up and actually understand why our parents did certain things. You had a loving father who cared enough about you and you in turn you cared enough about your children to teach them how to behave in a civil manner. The outcome is amazing. Thanks, Deb…you’re the best!

  4. . I think some people are yearning for more manners which makes life more gracious. Sometimes this world is crude and a few manners cushions the harshness.

    • Rosemarie, You’re one of the most gracious ladies I’ve ever met. You are my ideal lady in every sense of the word. Thanks for your continual support and help. From one writer to another…all the best.

  5. Audra Krell says:

    I agree, excellent use of the dollar! I think your book idea is wonderful and much needed. I think it will be a comfort to all who experience it. I love your creativity Effie!

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