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Mind Your Manners

Manners To Grow On
Lee
1955

Submitter: I found this while working on a long-overdue weeding project in our J section.  We all know manners are lacking in society today, but this book is NOT helping! If anyone doubts that this needed to be weeded, just look at p. 9, the section called “The Curtsy.”  The author says it is “…not only polite, but very charming.”  I especially love the clarification she provides, that the curtsy does not need to be “a deep one, as though they were being presented at court.”  Because of course that has plenty of relevance for today’s kids (not)!

Holly: It’s lovely to teach children manners, but if you teach your kid to curtsy I’ll just think they’re…”eccentric” or “different,” not polite. It’s not their fault they have weird parents who make them to curtsy, so give a kid a chance. You can’t make kids today to be nice by hoping the 1950s will come back. This book does not teach them not to text at the dinner table or not to say things like “LOL” to dear Grandma who has no clue what they’re talking about. It suggests you allow tradesmen to come inside when it is raining, which is not safe (milkman? laundryman? Who are these magical people?). In fact, in many communities children shouldn’t be answering the door at all. Once again, safe and relevant trumps “cute.”

More Manners:

Get Your Modern Manners On

The Sisters Teach Manners

Manners for the “Now” Generation

Fish Manners and Morals

9 Responses to Mind Your Manners

  • Anyone have any suggestions about good manners books to replace this one with?

  • The DOCTOR comes to the house? I say let’s reawaken the 50s right now 🙂 Seriously though, I’d love to have found this at the library sale after the weeding! (making small curtsy as I close this message)

  • I yell at my husband to answer the phone if I get to it first – but who really answers the phone anymore unless you know who it is?

  • Ha! I could always tell if it was a boy on the phone, because my mother wouldn’t yell “Nickname-Phone!”-she would quietly say, “Full First Name–Telephone.” Mr. Milkman and Mr. Eggman delivered to our door.

  • Naturally for 1955, this book is going to operate on the principle of “boys do this, this and this, girls do that, that and that”. Why shouldn’t the girl offer the boy refreshments at the school dance, or the boy ask the girl a few questions about herself? And would the boy bow in the situations where the girl would curtsy? Sixty years later, we’re a little more egalitarian, I hope

  • I for one do not want the 1950’s to come back. If it did everyone would be asking me things like, “Where is your husband?” and, “Why are you wearing pants?”, or “What do you mean both your mother and father have jobs?”

  • I’m going to start curtseying around work….

  • Since it says girls should always be pleasant, is it implying that boys don’t have to be?