Minding your Manners Thanks to the Ritz Carlton Battery Park

etiquette (24)When I was growing up proper manners and etiquette were something you learned just as children learn to ride a bike, it was expected, almost like a necessity to turn a year older. My siblings and I were always taught to use our pleases, thank you’s, excuse mes, and sorrie’s. We were expected to hold the door for others, we were required to refer to our elders as Mr. and Mrs. such and such. My grandmother used to push our elbows off the table at dinner time, we were told to sit up straight, and we were ALWAYS required to clear the table after a meal. Manners and etiquette are so ingrained in and important to me that during my brief stint as a nanny I taught and required the 12 month old to say “juice, please” or “bottle, please”. I taught the four year old to ask to be excused (something else we were required to do) and clear his plate when he was done eating. To me these were acts that you are required to do.

etiquette (20)A lot has changed in the 20+ years since I was being taught how to behave properly and the one thing that always gets to me is that children are rarely, if ever taught proper manners and etiquette. Children don’t know how to wait patiently in line, they seem to always be pushing forward into other groups. Children don’t say please and thank you as part of their natural language, and many children don’t address their elders with Mr. & Mrs. I still remember the day when I was a teenager and my young neighbor referred to our 70ish year old neighbor as “Helen” instead of “Mrs. K”, I was slightly appalled.

When I was given the opportunity to escort Little Miss Ava to an etiquette class, held at the swanky Ritz-Carlton – Battery Park, I jumped at the chance. The young girl does fairly well with the “please” and “thank you’s” and definitely does not behave as inappropriately as some children I have seen, but there is always room for improvement. I could not wait to see what she was going to be taught, how she was going to be taught it, and what she was going to take away from it.

The Ritz-Carlton – Battery Park hosts a monthly two hour etiquette class for children ages 5 to 11, held by etiquette expert and author of The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince – Which Fork’s First?, Prince Sanders. The class includes a copy of the book, read by the author during the class, a three course meal where the children get to use the skills they learn during the reading, cupcake decorating, and souvenirs.

Sanders’ book discusses manners such as not talking with food in your mouth, chewing with your mouth closed, which utensils to use at each course of a dinner, and other manners especially important at restaurants. At the end of the class the children come away with not only a new set of manners but a goody bag including a signed copy of “The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Which Fork First?”, a Ritz-Carlton stuffed lion, and a monogrammed cloth napkin for practicing folding and placement as well as some of the table manners taught during the class.  All for $100, your child and an accompanying adult (each additional child is $60) take away a priceless lesson in table manners, which we found to be both entertaining and educational.  Private classes can be arranged with a minimum of 4 children.  It’s highly recommended for every little prince and princess. Even I learned a thing or two. Thank you for reading!

{ disclosure:  I attended a Media Preview hosted by the Ritz Carlton Battery Park.  No compensation was received.  As always, all opinions expressed here are my very own. }