Etiquette & Manners Classes
Berkeley Parents Network >
Classes & Lessons >
Etiquette & Manners Classes
I am looking for Social Etiquete Teen Program in Bay Area. My daughter
is 17. She is happy to join a group setting workshop. Do any of you
know if there is one in this coming summer? Thanks!
Syndi Seid Advanced Etiquette
Syndi Seid taught an etiquette course for my daughter's entire
middle school class. At the time I wasn't sure that the kids were
old enough to appreciate etiquette, but at university and especially
in her junior year abroad, what she learned from the class gave her
This answers both the ballroom dancing AND the social ettiquete
questions...Cynthia Glinka has a great program - Manners in Motion -
My 26-year-old niece was brought up in an unusually sheltered
environment by parents who neither taught nor modeled basic personal
hygiene and social skills. She's finally struck out on her own,
moving out of the house and getting her first full-time job, but is
prevented from further progress because of her ignorance in every
area. She's a fairly bright, outgoing, warm-hearted and generous
girl, but behaves like a 14-year-old raised in the proverbial barn.
I want very much to help her, and she's aware of her limitations and
determined to overcome them. What she needs is an Aunt Alicia like
Gigi had in the film ''Gigi.'' She also needs classes like the
old-fashioned ''charm school'' type. Does anyone know anyone or
place who offers this kind of training?
A couple suggestions: I send your request to Linda Schneider.
She is mostly a piano teacher who trains her
students to the concert level. She used to do social graces
classes for socially awkward 8-12 year olds (or so). I don't know
if she could help, but maybe she could suggest someone else.
Secondly, when I became a VP and was told that I would need to
speak before hundreds of members, I enrolled in the Barbizon
School for Modeling. I was also in my mid twenties and did it for
the public speaking and grooming rather than thinking I would
become a model. I actually did model for a couple years after
that, so while I didn't look like a supermodel, they did pass on
marketable skills. Please feel free to email me and I might be
able to think of a few more resources for you. One might be to
find someone who will roll play with her (be the prospective boss,
the manager, the boyfriend's mother, etc.). My mother was a
stickler for manners!
Try this out:
The Etiquette School of Dana Point
29 St. Kitts
Dana Point, California 92629
Does anyone know of any etiquette, or ''social graces'' type classes or camps for
girls? My daughter is 10 yrs. old. bright, has many friends, but a little shy
especially when speaking with adults, and recently we attended an adult function
where many people formally greeted her with an outstretched hand and a ''pleased to
meet you.'' The first time this happened, I looked over at her and much to my
chagrin, she had a half an asparagus spear sticking out of her mouth and a smile on
her face as she nodded a ''yes''. Of course we then took a moment aside to refresh
her on how to handle these situations and she did great. I guess I'm wondering if
there's a fun way for her to get together with other kids to learn social etiquette,
things that used to be learned in ''charm schools or finishing schools'', dining
with proper utensils, the value of presenting yourself well in public etc. Yes, I
can teach her and do, but if there's a way to have other kids involved that would be
fun too. We
live in Oakland
Let your light shine!
I recently stumbled across the Girls Inc. website, which may have a program not exactly
like what you're asking for, but similar, called Best Foot Forward:
There's some social etiquette, but also it's for confidence and general skill-building,
which of course is never a bad thing. I linked from Alameda's Girls Inc. site, but
perhaps there's a branch in Oakland as well.
My 6 yo daughter is very smart, active, and seems to be very happy. However, I'm a
little worried about her social skills, being that I work full time, and can't really see
her interactions with people during the day as much as I would like to, and can't
assist and offer feedback and how-to's the way maybe other mothers can, I don't
know if I'm able to help as much as she needs me to. I am noticing that she is really
lacking in basic manners, and appropriate conversation. I realize she is only 6, and I
don't expect Miss Manners, but when she wants a glass of milk, she walks up to her
daddy or me and says, ''Milk!? Milk!?'' Occasionally somebody will compliment her
or talk to her, and she tends to look away and not respond. It's obviously a lack of
knowing how to respond, and if I were with her more, I could help more, but I can't
afford to quit my job, and I don't think she is learning these things in school. Is
there a class or playgroup out there focused on teaching basic social and
conversation skills? Am I overly worried about this? Is her behavior age
Working Mom Worried
I have been told that my boys have good manners, so I will share what I have
I tell my children that manners are not just rules to be followed, but how we
respect for other people. Chewing with your mouth closed isn't just some
rule created by stuck-up people, but a nice thing to do for other people who
want to see your chewed-up food.
I try to model this respect by showing them how to have good manners at home.
For example, if they demand ''Milk!'' I say, ''Can you ask me in a nice way,
and they know to say, ''Could I have some milk, please?'' I try not to nag, but
show them how act in the world so that they will have a positive impact.
The big thing is that this has to be reinforced constantly. Just yesterday, to
chagrin, my nine-year-old pushed past an older woman in a doorway in his rush to
get into a store. I took him aside immediately, told him that he needed to wait
allow her to pass first, or at very least say ''Excuse me.''
For social conversation, I talk about the importance of making eye contact,
clearly, and so on. Sometimes when an interaction hasn't gone well, we play-act
out later. The same goes for phone manners.
I work outside of my home, too, so I'm not with my kids all of the time, but I
reinforce this whenever I am with them. That's the most that you can do. Good
luck, and good for you for noting the importance of this issue.
In answer to your question, ''is her behavior age-appropriate''? it doesn't
far off base to me. As for responding to compliments, or even adults saying
I've noticed most kids seem to have trouble. I quietly prod my daugther to
to hello and say thank you to compliments, but I don't push, if it's not
and I'm not real worried when she's still pretty tongue-tied. I imagine
are a lot to process in the brain, what with the emotions they elicit.
As for ''milk, milk!'' I still get that, too, although my 6-yr-old daughter is
capable of being articulate and polite. I think we all tend to drop our manners
home! So if it's annoying me that day, I ask her to ask me politely, or tell her
want to listen to baby-talk.
I think all that any of us, working or not, can do with manners, is teach our
to treat us, their parents, with respect and manners. I'm guessing once they get
message they'll apply it to others.
Even though you work full time you must spend more time with your
child than she would spend at a social skills/manners class, so you
should be able to do the teaching yourself. The obvious time to teach
these skills is at the dinner table. Does your family sit down to dinner
together at night? If not, I strongly suggest that you find time to fit this
into your schedule. Then you can model appropriate conversation, ask
her open-ended questions about her day (what was the best thing about
school, the worst thing about school, who did you sit next to at lunch, did
anything funny happen during the day?), tell her about your day, ask her
to pass the peas, engage her however you can. Help her learn to speak
in complete sentences by rephrasing her requests appropriately: Oh,
you'd like me to get you some milk? Do you want me to pass the peas?
Would you like some ice cream for dessert? You are her most important
teacher--don't pass this job on to a class, or expect her teachers at
school to do it. If you engage her in conversation, model the kind of
language you want her to use, show pleasure at your interactions (''It
was really fun to talk to you about what you did at school today.''
''Thanks for asking for milk in such a grown-up way.''), I would expect
that you won't need to look for any class.
Hello -- can anyone recommend a local children's etiquette class
or consultant? The only listing I saw was from 1999 and it was
for someone in San Francisco.
Thanks very much!
Laura Wolff gives etiquette classes for children. I'm sorry I
don't have her number handy, but she is the principal of the
lower school at Black Pine Circle school in Berkeley, so she
shouldn't be hard to find. Good luck!
Either Walnut Creek Community Ctr or Lafayette CC run these
The Orinda Community Center often has an etiquette class
called ''Tea With the Queen'' in their catalog. I imagine the
fall course catalog will be coming out soon. You can call them
I am looking for a class or seminar for adults to help improve
etiquette skills, project a more professional and self-confident
image, etc... This is for personal and professional reasons. I
have heard of image consultants, but I would rather do something
in a group setting and for a reasonable cost (less than
$500 or so). Has anyone done this type of thing? Did it help
you? Can you recommend a person or business who conducts these
types of classes in the east bay or San Francisco? Thank you.
Syndi Seid's Advanced Etiquette might fit the bill. She's a nice
person (we both did Leadership San Francisco) AND has quite a
following. Her Thursday July 18th class is $275 from 4-10pm and
then she's got sort of a package deal for the Fall
Syndi Seid's Advanced Etiquette company offers courses for
adults, youth (ages 9-13) and teens (ages 14-18) in San
Francisco at the Warwick Regis Hotel, 490 Geary Street near
Union Square. Courses offered include: Become World-Class,
Successful Entertaining & Formal Dining, Afternoon Tea &
Etiquette, Teenage Etiquette Savvy, and Good Manners & Dining
Etiquette. Syndi is a graduate of the pretigious The Protocol
School of Washington and has appeared on ''Good Morning America''
and ''Party at Home'', a Home & garden tv series. While I haven't
taken any of her courses, I met her through a national food and
wine organization and am confident the courses would be
interesting and professionally run. 2001 prices ranged from $75
to $245 per course. She can be reached at 415-346-3665.
A friend of mine, Syndi Seid, of Advanced Etiquette in San Francisco, was
trained by a Washington DC protocol school and teaches older kids and adults
dining table manners, how to make toasts, etc. She is very professional and
offers classes in SF and the Peninsula. There was an article in the SF
Chronicle about her several months ago. Her number is 415-346-3665.
this page was last updated: Aug 31, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network