Chilrdren’s Etiquette Classes

Posted on Aug 21, 2018 in Children Etiquette Tips, Children's Etiquette, Etiquette For Children

Children’s Etiquette Classes

My daughter just left for her freshman year at college. I have been a basket case, to say the least. I will say that what made me feel amazing was when just after four days she sent me a text that said, in all capitals, I’VE ALREADY MADE SO MANY NEW FRIENDS!” That made my heart so happy and I knew then that she will excel in college.

We all want our children to fit in, to make friends, and feel connected and part of a group whether they are in kindergarten or in seventh grade. Some children seem to feel at ease making friends and interacting with others one-on-one and in groups, but some kids struggle and have social anxiety.

It’s proven that children who have good social skills are more successful throughout school and life than those who do not have confident social skills. What we can do for our children as they head back to school is to give them a refresher on manners and social skills so that they will make a good impression on their teachers and make new friends.

Four Easy Tips to Improve Manners and Social Skills:

1. Go back to the basics. Remind your children to say “please” and “thank you”. When we use these words we are showing that we understand that people have an option to help us or not and that we appreciate what they do for us. Teachers, coaches and school administrators definitely appreciate kids who use “the magic words”. Use these words with your children and remind them to use these words at home so it becomes second nature. If there are any local children’s etiquette classes near you it might also be a good idea to sign your children up for a refresher.

2.  Show respect to those different than you. It’s important to remind our children to not “judge a book by its cover” and to treat everyone the same regardless of their gender, age, race, religion, socioeconomic class, or sexual orientation. Again, we can teach this by example and discourage our children from talking badly about someone just because they are different. Kids who gossip at school and talk badly about others never get ahead.

3.  Have positive body language. Research has found that the two traits that make someone likable are “warmth” and “confidence.” If your children can show that they are both warm and confident in their body language, people will be attracted to them and want to be their friend. To show warmth, just smile! So walking into a room or walking up to people, with a smile on your face will tell others you are a warm and happy person. Show confidence in your body language by having good posture, not looking down at a cell phone and then giving people direct eye contact. You can practice this with your kids and encourage them to always look others in the eyes when talking to them.

4.  Show interest in and care about others. This applies to when you are talking to someone in-person or when you’re using text or social media. Teach your children that if they can show interest in and care about others, they will make friends and be someone others want to know and be around. Show your kids what it means to be empathic, teach them how to ask questions about others and to really listen to what other people are saying. There are many ways to teach these skills such as to send your kids to children’s etiquette classes, talk about what not to post or write on social media or in texts, and then practicing making conversation.

As parents, we can help our children learn manners and social skills by teaching them and then practicing at home. However, if you want to really reinforce what you are teaching them and give your children more opportunity to practice and increase these skills, you can send your children to classes that teach manners and social skills in a group setting so that kids learn alongside other kids. Below are some children’s etiquette classes this fall in the Lake Norman and South Charlotte areas.

Children’s Etiquette Classes:

South Charlotte

Grades:  5th, 6th, 7th

When:  October 7, 21 and 28

Where:  Raintree Country Club in Charlotte

Register & More Info:  Click HERE


Lake Norman Area

Grades:  5th, 6th, 7th

When:  September 30, October 14, and November 4

Where: Langtree Plantation in Mooresville

Register & More Info:  Click HERE

NEW Children’s Etiquette Classes in Charlotte Area

Posted on Jul 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

Charlotte / Lake Norman area classes: 

South Charlotte

Grades:  5th, 6th, 7th

When:  October 7, 21 and 28

Where:  Raintree Country Club in Charlotte

Register & More Info:  Click HERE


Lake Norman Area

Grades:  5th, 6th, 7th

When:  September 30, October 14, and November 4

Where: Langtree Plantation in Mooresville

Register & More Info:  Click HERE

During the three classes, 5th, 6th and 7th graders will have the opportunity to learn the social skills that will help them:

  • Feel more comfortable in all social settings.
  • Know how to confidently greet people and make polite conversation.
  • Make friends more easily and impress their teachers, coaches, and others.
  • Have excellent table manners.
  • Understand how to use cell phones, email and social media safely and with respect for others and themselves.
  • Feel comfortable dancing the Shag and Waltz.

This cotillion class is:

  • Fun!
  • Interactive with activities and games.
  • NOT “stuffy” or “boring” according to kids!
  • Relevant and teaches what children need to know now in our modern world.

For more information contact Aimee at

Impressions: The Modern Cotillion for A New Generation

Posted on Feb 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

Impressions Cotillion

On February 25, 2018, we had our first session of the 2018 winter Impressions class.

During the class, they learned the seven key things they need to do to make a good first and lasting impression on others. We did group activities and had the kids work on this a lot, so hopefully, they can tell you about all seven which are to have good: Attitude, energy, eye contact, posture, smile, listening skills, and hand shake.

Then, we did a game I call “Conversation Catch”. This game was to teach them the importance of being able to carry on a conversation with another child or with an adult, and how easy it really is to do.

Dancing The Waltz

Lastly, we taught them how to Waltz. While I believe they all learned the steps, what was the hardest thing for them was to actually touch the person of the opposite gender! Wow, if you could have seen their faces!! I know this is hard, and many of them were mortified (hiding under the tables and in the bathroom), but it’s actually a very good step for them to take at this age. Over the next classes this will get easier, and you never know, they might even find that they like dancing!


Children’s Social Skills Indicator of Their Success

Posted on Feb 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

Children’s Social Skills Indicator of Their Success

Many children today are growing up without learning the social skills and manners they need to make and keep friends, make a good impression on adults, and get ahead in school and beyond.

Technology is hindering their interpersonal communication skills. Our busy lifestyles leave little time for parents to teach their children manners and dining etiquette. Our society is becoming less civil in general, and more specifically, many people use social media not as a communication tool, but as a weapon.

However, children who are raised with polite social skills and feel confident meeting and talking to people of all ages, who can present themselves well in social settings and during stressful situations, and those children who are able to show respect and kindness to others regardless of their differences, will, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, be “happier and more successful” than those who do not have as confident and polite manners.

I believe that parents, grandparents, educators, and other adults who interact with children need to understand the importance of teaching children manners and social skills. They also owe it to children to learn what, and how, to teach them in order to propel them to success.

Below are my top three recommendations of what to teach your children and how. For my classes in the Charlotte area that teach children ages 5 – 18 social skills and manners, please click HERE.

1. Teach confident greeting and conversation skills. If your children can make a good impression on adults and other kids when meeting them for the first time, or seeing them again, it will make them feel confident, make them more likable, and help them to make friends easier. For information on how to teach kids to have nice greeting and conversation skills, go to this Charlotte Parent blog HERE.

2. Teach children to show respect and kindness to others when in person and on-line. One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is to respect others regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, or as kids might say, just because “he’s weird.” This isn’t hard to teach, but sometimes it’s hard to get kids to do the right thing in all situations.

–   You can start by showing by example and not talking badly about others because they are different or by treating them differently than others.
–   Explain to your kids how they will never really understand someone and why they do something, wear something, say something, unless they really know what’s going on with them in that moment. So, encourage your children to not make snap judgments and to really try to get to know someone by asking them questions and really listening.
–   Teach them how to show respect to kids and adults when in person and have them practice, practice, and practice.
–   Teaching kids how to show respect to others when using social media is critical, but not easy. Explain that just because they are not being a bully, that it’s NOT okay to “like” something that is mean about another child, or to “share” it with others.

3. Teach your children proper table manners. Because there is a right and a wrong way to do things before, during and after a meal, it’s extremely obvious when someone (child or adult) has not been taught proper table manners and dinning etiquette. And, if someone has bad table manners, it’s only human nature to make negative judgments about that person. So, take the time to teach your children how to behave at the table so that they make a good impression when they go to friends’ houses to eat, and when they are going on a job interview over a meal. Click HERE for table manner tips written in a previous Charlotte Parent blog.


For social skills and manners classes for children in K – 12 in the Lake Norman Area this winter and spring click HERE. If you’re interested in future classes in the south Charlotte area, please send an email to

Holiday Etiquette Tips

Posted on Dec 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Holiday Etiquette Tips

tipping_uber The holiday season is upon us, so below are the top 5 holiday etiquette tips.

  1. 1.  Tipping Etiquette
  • Prioritize your most important service providers. Give to those people who really make your life easier and better like, for example, your trusted babysitter, the house keeper, and the kids’ bus driver.
  • Handmade gifts or treats. If you cannot afford to give everyone a monetary gift, a plate full of holiday cookies or candy is a low-cost way to express your appreciation.
  • A note should accompany any tip. Your message doesn’t have to be elaborate, but should include a couple of sentences thanking the person for his or her good work and wishing them a happy holiday.

2. Gifting Etiquette

  • Send thank-you note. Ensure that if you (or your children) receive a gift in the mail that you/they promptly send a hand-written thank you note to tell the person (a) that you received it, and (b) that you truly enjoy and appreciate the gift.
  • Set family expectations up-front. Talk to your family about who will be buying what for whom this holiday season. Some families only buy gifts for the children, some keep gifts below a certain dollar value, others pick names from a hat. Whatever your family does decide before it’s too late and someone’s feelings get hurt and a family “issue” develops.


3.  Airplane Etiquette

  • Keep your voice down. Don’t talk too loudly in public spaces like the waiting area or in the plane. Also, keep the volume of your headphones down so your seatmate can’t also hear the music.
  • Don’t take up more space than you really need. Like in the airport terminal, don’t lay your stuff all over while others have no room to sit.

4.  Dining Etiquette

  • Know hosting responsibilities. If you’re hosting a meal, you may ask people to not bring their cell phone to the table. If you typically pray before a meal, but not sure if your guests do, you may still ask people to pray with you as it’s your home. If you’re in someone else’s house, you would just pray silently and not ask your host to pray if that is not something they usually do.
  • Know your table manners. Pass food to the right. Pass salt and pepper together. Put napkin in your lap. No elbows or arms should rest on the table. Either use continental style of eating or American, but not both. Make conversation with those seated to your right, left and across from you.

5.  Show Gratitude

  • Help others. Find a way as a family to help others in need during the holiday season. Donate toys, food, or give money to a charity as a gift to someone. Every family member can do something to help someone else during the holiday season.

Hope these holiday etiquette tips will help you reduce some of the stress the holidays can bring.

Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays,


Tipping Etiquette – Tips to Show Gratitude

Posted on Nov 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

Tipping Etiquette

Tipping Etiquette

A Consumer Reports holiday tipping poll finds that fewer than 1 in 4 of us pony up for a monetary thank-you to our mail carrier, lawn crew or garbage collector. However, the holiday season is the time to show our appreciation to the service people who make our life better.

Click HERE to watch this great and quick WCNC News segment on Tipping Etiquette!

Below is some holiday etiquette tipping advice from etiquette expert, Aimee Symington, of Davidson.

  • Prioritize your most important service providers. If someone’s work makes your life dramatically better, that person should be at the top of your holiday tipping list. The trusted housecleaner, the hairdresser who fits you in at the last minute and the baby sitter who always does a great job tending your kids should get more of your holiday tipping resources than service providers you use infrequently.
  • Don’t skimp on your employees. If you have household workers, such as a nanny, a housekeeper or a caretaker for an elderly relative, the holiday bonus is often considered part of the employee’s compensation.
  • It’s OK to consider need. The lower-paid the worker, the more holiday tips are likely to be appreciated — and the bigger impact your gift can have. Your tip to a manicurist or gardener may be a bigger deal than the same-sized token to a package-delivery person.
  • If you tip generously all year, you can skimp a bit. A smaller tip or a modest gift at the holidays is fine.
  • A note should accompany any tip. Your message doesn’t have to be elaborate, but should include a couple of sentences thanking the person for his or her good work and wishing a happy holiday.
  • Handmade gifts or treats. If you cannot afford to give everyone a monetary gift, a plate full of holiday cookies or candy is a low-cost way to express your appreciation.

Below are rough guidelines and tipping etiquette standards you can adapt to your budget and local custom:

Recipient Guideline
Babysitter One evening’s pay, plus a gift from your child
Barber Cost of one haircut
Beauty salon staff Half the cost of one haircut
Bus Driver $10 individual or more for collective gift from group
Day care provider A gift from you, or $25 to $70, plus a gift from your child
Dog walker Up to one week’s pay or a gift
Garage attendants $10 to $30 or a small gift
Gardeners $20 to $50 each
Handyman $15 to $40
Housekeeper Up to one week’s pay and/or a small gift
Live-in help One week to one month’s pay, plus a gift from you
Mail carrier Gift worth less than $20; no cash, check or gift cards
Massage therapist Up to the cost of one session or a gift
Nanny or au pair One week’s pay, plus a gift from your child
Newspaper deliverer $10 to $30 or a small gift
Package deliverer Small gift in the $10-$20 range
Personal trainer Up to the cost of one session or a gift
Personal caregiver One week to one month’s salary or a gift
Pet groomer Up to the cost of one session or a gift
Teachers A small gift or note from you, plus a small gift from your child
Trash collectors $10 – $30 each


Cotillion in Charlotte for 5th and 6th Graders

Posted on Nov 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

cotillion in charlotte



Teaching children to have self-confidence in social situations, to show respect and kindness to others when in person and online, and to have nice table manners is essential, but let’s face it, teaching these life skills isn’t easy!

Impressions: The Modern Cotillion for a New Generation is a new interactive cotillion in Charlotte area that teaches children all of the etiquette, manners, and social skills they need to know, without all of the “old-fashioned” stuff that’s  outdated in today’s modern and digital world.

Through the use of multi-media, games, groups activities and a class party, 5th and 6th graders will learn how to:

  • Have confident greeting and conversation skills
  • Set the table and have polite table manners
  • Be a polite host and guest, and a good friend
  • Have nice manners and respect when using a cell phone & social media
  • Dance the Shag and Waltz

The final cotillion in Charlotte will culminate in a party with parents attending to dance with their son/daughter.


CLASSES: Every child will attend all three classes.

DATES: February 25, March 4, and March 11 of 2018. The sign-up only says February 25th, but you will be signing up for all THREE classes.

TIME: The 5th grade class will be held from 1:00 – 2:45. The 6th grade class will be held from 3:30 – 5:15.

COST: The price is $180 per person to be paid upon registration by Pay Pal or credit card. Cancellation with refund will only be given before January 25th.

LOCATION: At the Sweet Magnolia Estate located at 10101 Bailey Road, Cornelius, NC 28031.

ATTIRE: The first two classes are “dressy casual” which means no t-shirts, running shoes, or   shorts.  The class on March 1th will be formal for the dance party. Boys should wear a jacket, button down shirt, tie and dress pants. Girls should wear a dress or skirt/blouse.

PROVIDED: Each participant will receive a comprehensive binder of information to use and keep, handouts, prizes, snacks and beverages for all classes.

CLASS SIZE: Each class will be limited to 20 girls and 20 boys. Classes will fill up quickly so please register early.

INSTRUCTOR: The cotillion in Charlotte area is taught by Aimee Symington, CEO of Finesse Worldwide, international etiquette expert, creator of nationally-selling Blunders® board game and products, NBC and Fox News manners’ expert, blogger, and national magazine contributor.

Enroll your children today and empower them with the knowledge and ability to make the right choices in social settings now and in the future.

Questions? Email or call Aimee Symington at or 704-564-6502 if you have questions about the cotillion in Charlotte.