Why Social Skills and Manners Classes Matter

The "Impressions: Social Skills for Success" Class

We all want the best for our children. We want them to be healthy. We want them to get good grades in school, to have friends, and to do well in whatever it is they're interested in like sports, dance, music or art. We also want our kids to feel comfortable and confident when they meet, eat with, talk to, and interact with other people. When children have self-confidence in knowing how to behave and interact in different social situations with different people, they may be perceived as kinder and smarter than others.

A Social Disadvantage

As we adults know, it's important to have confident social skills when you're interviewing for jobs, networking, trying to get ahead in your career, and even when trying to make friends and interact with others as an adult. We were lucky because when we were growing up, we had more of an opportunity to learn and practice social skills and manners from our families and from communicating with peers face-to-face and over the house phone (for hours in my case). Our children, however, aren't having this same opportunity and this puts them at a disadvantage. Below are a few of the things that hinder social skills opportunities.

  • We are so busy! When is the last time you and your family sat down for a nice dinner without electronic devices and you talked to them about how to have nice table manners and make polite conversation during dinner? Our lifestyles have gotten so busy with all the activities they do, and with all the work we have, that taking the time to teach our children how to interact online and in-person with others is limited.
  • Technology hinders interpersonal communication skills. By the time children get to middle school, they are starting to communicate with other kids primarily via social media and text rather than just hanging out after school together. When kids "talk" so much via electronics, they don't learn how to read body-language cues, ask questions and listen to others, and how to interact with a group of kids in one setting like at a party. This lack of practice can cause a child to experience social anxiety when they are in a new or different situation with peers and/or adults.
  • Generational differences. When our children enter the workforce, they will be working with people much older than themselves who have different communication styles and social expectations. Young adults need to have the social skills and manners that older generations expect to succeed.

What Parents Can do

Take the time to teach your children how to have confident greeting and conversation skills and nice table manners, to show respect and kindness to others, be safe and smart when using electronics, and to be a good host, guest and a good friend, boy/girlfriend, sibling and student. Always role model for your children what this all means. They learn more from your actions than by your words.

Top 3 Reasons to Enroll Your Children in Social Skills and Manners Classes: 

  1. Reinforces your message. My daughter literally thought I made up the "rule" that you have to put your napkin in your lap when you eat. I sent her to an etiquette class and she came home and admitted that I was right and it felt so good. Sometimes kids just need to hear the same information from someone else to have it sink in. 
  2. More detail and most recent information. At a class dedicated to teaching your kids manners and social skills, children learn the latest on the what, when, where, why and with whom. I've talked to many parents who say they learned things about manners from their children after they attended a class.
  3. Peer teaching and practicing. When kids see other kids doing something like shaking hands and properly using their fork, they see that it is "cool" and want to do it as well. Classes also give kids a dedicated time to work on these skills so that it becomes second nature and doesn't feel "weird" anymore.

Select Charlotte Area Social Skills and Manners Classes:

If you're interested in creating a social skills or manners class for your group or school, please contact me at aimee@finesseworldwide.com or go to my website for more information at finesseworldwide.com.