Mrs. McVeigh's Manners
a division of Elise McVeigh's Life Camps
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Be respectful in other people's neighborhoods

 Good causes are good causes. And good manners are good manners.

Let's make sure the two go hand in hand. I was reminded of this recently when a Sunday-morning walkathon appeared in my neighborhood.

First of all, let me say that I'm an advocate of walkathons. I've helped organize them when I once worked with a nonprofit.

But as we walk through familiar or unfamiliar neighborhoods promoting a cause, let's always be mindful of the tranquility of the surroundings.

Organizers should respect the space of others who live in the neighborhood. Be courteous and allow people the right of ways on their walks or jogging paths.

It’s not easy when several people are together, of course, but organizers should also respect noise levels while they're in the neighborhood -- in other words, no honking horns or loud music.

And most of all, organizers should encourage participants to respect personal property. No one likes to see people traipse across a well-manicured lawn to take a picture under a trellis of roses.

I don't believe anyone in any neighborhood has a problem with people promoting their causes. The important thing is to not let the neighborhood and its residents feel violated or taken advantage of as if they were a tourist attraction.

It's a matter of good common sense, manners and respect for the residents.

Polite Phrases Should be Heard More Often

 Have you ever been in line at a store and proud to hear a fellow customer be patient, kind, and continue to be polite even after things are not quite going his way?  Even though the sales associate is new and had to ring up his merchandise several times, the person continues to smile and tell them no problem.  The customer finally gets finished and apologizes to you for having to wait, even though it was not even his fault.  Unfortunately we do not see and hear this often enough.  Typically we want melt into the background because of how rude a customer is acting.  It is even worse when they do it in front of their children.  You know these kids are probably the ones acting disrespectful in their word choices to their teachers and friend’s parents.People are not as respectful with their words as they used to be.  We teach our children from birth to say please and thank you, but then turn around and forget to do it ourselves.  When someone bumps into you, you should expect to get an “excuse me,” but often do not.  Children who use the word “mam” after saying yes or no always impress me.  It sounds so much more respectful than the typical “yah” that you get from most kids.   

Your tone of voice can also make or brake how polite and respectful you sound.  I have one child when he was young who knew the right words to use, but would just blow it with his tone of voice.  If you do not have a polite tone in your voice, you may as well forget trying to sound polite at all. 

Next time you hear a stranger say something polite, be sure to acknowledge it with saying something back or at least a big smile.  When children use polite words I always thank them for their good manners.  Any kind of positive affirmation should help them to continue being polite.

 

Make teaching your children manners fun!

 When it comes to teaching a young child good manners, finding a positive spin on etiquette will bring you more success than threats and negative words. To teach your children manners, make it fun and interactive.

If you have a young daughter, she probably enjoys playing princess. Next time she is in her princess costume, ask her to pretend how to meet you as her favorite princess. As she is meeting you, if she looks down, tell her princesses are confident and poised, they use good eye contact and a confident-sounding voice.

If you son likes to dress up as his favorite superhero, tell him Superman has a firm, but not too hard, handshake when he meets people.

If your child likes to play with dolls or action figures, play with him or her and have the dolls use good manners.

A lot of popular children’s characters have their own book, DVD or dolls related to good manners. The ones that I use in my camps include the Berenstain Bears, Madeline, and Barbie. Children not only love involving their favorite characters, but also learn a lot from them.

If you want your child to learn how to set a table, find a fun placemat that helps them know where all of the pieces in the place setting belong. You can also go online and find a picture of a correct place setting and print it out for them. I have both on my site, mrsmcveighsmanners.com.

Tune into your child’s interests, and engage them in learning manners in a fun and interactive way.

 

Asked Out and Not Interested – What to Do

  A friend of mine told me she ran out the door the other day and forgot to put her wedding ring on.  A man that she encountered during her workday started hitting on her, and she was at a loss of what to do. If you are male or female, available to date or not, you are probably going to encounter someone making advances on you when you are not interested.  If you do not want to hurt his feelings and/or sound rude, what do you say?

Try to let him or her know you are not interested before he even has a chance to ask you out. If you are at a party, it is easy to excuse yourself to “find your date,” “find your friends,” or “get another drink.”  That should give you an out to move on from the person, and then steer clear of him or her for the rest of the evening. 

If you are in a business setting, try to move the conversation to work related issues.  If he or she makes it social again, feel free to give responses that include you and your significant other, and how happy you are about the relationship.  You can say, “My husband (or boyfriend) and I are going to the movies later.  He is great because he lets me pick the movie every time.” If you are single and not interested then work into the conversation how happy you are not to be dating anyone.  

If none of this works, and he or she asks you out anyway, there are some responses that will let him down in a way that is not too uncomfortable for both of you.  “Sounds fun, but my husband and I are really busy the next few weeks.”  If you are single you can say, “You are so nice to ask, but I am on social overload right now.  If that changes I will let you know.”  Give these responses with a smile, and try to quickly change the subject or walk away if possible.  This should stop it from going any further, and hopefully will not make it too awkward for either one of you.

 

 


Tipping

 

A question I frequently get is about tipping.  How much to tip, different circumstances if you should tip or not tip, and what if you have bad service.  Remember that a lot of service industry workers get paid little and make their living off of tips.

 

If you are at a restaurant (in the U.S.) a standard 15 - 20% applies.  It does not matter if you are eating at Applebees or The Mansion, this is the standard amount that you should tip.  If you have really bad service then anywhere from no tip to 10% of the total bill is fine.  If you order a very expensive bottle of wine, then you are not expected to tip on the total bill. 

 

20% if the appropriate amount to spend for salon services.  However, if you are at a medical office and have a procedure done by medical staff (such as getting Botox at a Dermatologist’s office), tipping is not expected.  If you are unsure, (such as I was when I got a massage at my Chiropractor’s office), feel free to ask someone at the front desk. 

 

If you valet your car, I suggest tipping $3.00 to $5.00, even if the valet service is not free. 

 

At the airport if you check your bags at the curb, tip at least $3.00 for one bag, and at least $5.00 for two bags. If you are at a hotel and confer with the hotel concierge a lot, I suggest tipping $20.00 - $50.00 before you leave.  The gentleman who brings your bag to your room, tip according to how nice the hotel is, and how many bags you have. 

 

During the holidays, I always tip extra if I am a regular customer, or I bring a small gift in addition to my tip.  For example, I was charged $55.00 for a spa service, so I gave $100.00 total. 

 

Tipping is important, and knowing how much to tip is very important to know.  It is an uncomfortable feeling when you are not sure if you are not giving enough of a tip.

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