Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Manners That Matter for Moms: The Essential Book of Life Skills for Your Kids, by Maralee McKee

Overview (from the Publishers): Corporate trainer and mentor Maralee McKee turns her attention to the home and shares the simple, savvy, and sincere skills kids need in order to flourish in today’s culture.
Skills for each stage of life make this the go-to book for moms with children of any age. Readers will learn how to impart the basic tools that empower kids to relate to others well, as well as…
  • gain self-confidence by learning to make conversation pleasant, not painful
  • overcome self-doubt by mastering new etiquette for today’s on-the-go, casual, techno-savvy families
  • develop the interpersonal skills that will help them become the best version of themselves they can be in any setting
Fun, practical, and thoroughly up-to-date, this manual offers everything moms need to equip their kids to flourish in their relationships.

Review: Author Maralee McKee’s passion (or one of them, anyway) is manners: teaching them, making good use of them, writing about them. Her enthusiasm about manners was, at first, funny to me. I’ve always been laid back, very go-with-the-flow with this type of things. But the author makes a compelling case for good manners, their importance and how easy they are to learn and to teach to our kids.  

Right from the start, I felt at home. I loved the fact that the Forward seemed to be written by a friend in common; like a friend introducing us to her good old friend because she just knows that we will hit it off, and we do. The author begins telling us her story, a very touching story, which made her relatable, made her feel closer and made me want to keep reading. 

If you are like me, you always say please and thank you, always greet people and look them in the eye when speaking with them. Those are the basics, things we are taught from the start. But they are not enough and the author makes that perfectly clear. It’s funny how a book about manners will make you look deeper into your parenting, what you expect of yourself and your children, what you can provide for them to be better persons in the Lord and with those around them. Manners that Matter to Moms does just that. It is a very practical book that not only addresses the need for teaching our children manners, but also speaks to the importance of, as mothers, being the primary manners role model for our kids. 

Never one to use a knife, I always cut my meet using my fork (WHAT!), never put the napkin on my lap while eating (yikes!), I always, always, hang my purse in the back of my chair (oh no!) and never send formal invitations to anything, not even my wedding (my goodness!). It’s terrible, I know. It’s not what I want for my son, and this book has helped me see that and has made me want to change that.

As with any parenting book, I don’t necessarily agree with everything, but as a whole I think it’s a great tool for any household. From saying please and thank you, to how to introduce yourself and others, to the correct behavior when eating anywhere, there is a great lesson to be learn here: in all our relationships, dealings and conversations we should always be polite, pleasant and present. 

4 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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