Last week I shared some practical tips to teach our sons to be gentlemen, but today we are going to focus on our daughter and teaching our daughters to be ladies.
I wonder, every day, who our children will become. Will they be adults that help others? Will they be loyal and trustworthy? Will they be independent, but still able to depend on others?
It is important to teach them to have good manners and to ” act like a lady”, of course. However, there is nothing wrong with a girl going out and having fun (getting dirty, playing with the boys, etc…) Our daughter, Allie, really has no choice since she has 3 big brothers) There is so much more to acting like a lady than just what meets the eye.
These practical tips are just a few to get started…
1). Accept a compliment.
When someone gives you a compliment, learn to say Thank You. Do not say “Oh, no.” or “Me? No…” Just say “Thank You.” Teach your daughter this and watch her as she gets older, to be sure that she understands this. Putting yourself down is not flattering, it is not fun and it is not good for their confidence or self-worth.
2- Write a thank you note within 24 hours of receiving a gift.
The art of a hand-written note is quickly going away, but I try to remember to do this nonetheless. I teach our kids the same rule-of-thumb. Jackie Kennedy Onassis had this rule. She said that a thank-you note should be out within 24 hours of receiving the gift. It is just a way to show respect and gratitude.
PS- Jackie Kennedy also said that she kept her shape by never finishing her kids meals. Just a fun little tip!
3- Place the napkin in their lap during a meal.
This can be started at an early age. Napkins in the lap. When we go out to eat, our two year old daughter will place her napkin in her lap when I remind her. (She may get up a few times during the meal and will forget about it, but this is something that I plan on keeping up with.)
Another one that I try to instill in our kids is to remember to keep their elbows off the table. My husband doesn’t mind when they do this, but I really encourage them to remember this table manner.
4- Prepare meals.
I have taught all of our kids to make themselves breakfast and lunch. I lay out plates or bowls and the ingredients. They simply assemble it. It isn’t hard, but it does cut back on their dependence on me to do it and it lets them have the freedom to include as much or as little on their sandwich as they want. It is an easy way to teach them to be more independent.
5- Learn to listen.
Learn to listen when someone is talking. I have a hard time not saying what I am thinking (never anything mean, but I am just a talker), but it is just as important to listen. Patience is a virtue.
6- Choose your words with grace.
I make it a point not to use profanity (so much so that if I ever do use it, people say I sound silly!). I’m not just talking about profanity as much as I am talking about just being kind. Mean words hurt. They hurt more than people realize and I want our daughter to know that she has the power to lift someone up or bring someone down. I remember my mom overhearing me talking mean about a friend and she said that she was disappointed in me. I made it a point to try to talk kindly about people and to people from then on. It is important.
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