Seattle school teaches etiquette classes for kids

SEATTLE  --  Good manners and etiquette can sometimes seem like a lost art. But a local school says they’ve seen an uptick in inquiries from parents all around the region.  At first glance, it might seem like basic table manners. But kids and parents say it has much deeper meaning.

It’s been said good manners can open doors. At Clise Etiquette, kids are learning the ABC’s of minding their P’s and Q’s.

“It’s like picking up a changed kid after the first class,” says Dad, Matt Williams.

“I took a class through Clise Etiquette probably 6 months or so ago and I found it very helpful when I would have dinners, or going to weddings, that kind of thing,” says Matt.

“It’s been really interesting seeing how popular the classes are and I think people, parents, are starting to realize, we’ve really sort of swung one way and now we have to come back and teach kids civility and how to be kind and how to eat properly.  Because it’s something that’s been missing for a while and parents realize its important,” says Arden Clise.

Clise says she’s seen an uptick in the business of etiquette. This Saturday morning class is completely booked.

“I think parents are really realizing that you can’t just have book smarts kids, you also need to have good social skills, good manners, good interaction with others,” says Clise.

Clise teaches her students life skills; like how to properly set a table.

“As they get older they’re going apply those skills to their jobs, to interviews, interacting with co-workers or bosses,” says Clise.

It’s a hands on approach for what some consider a lost art.

“All is not lost, no, definitely not.  I think it was smoldering.  It kind of went underground for a little bit and now it’s back.  And I think everybody sees that it needs to be a part of schools, wherever the kids are learning things, they really need to learn these skills,” says Clise.

“It does seem like it’s fading away, but it seems like it’s coming back, too.  People realize it’s missing, it’s been missing a little bit, and seems like there’s a push to bring it back,” says Williams.

Williams' daughter, Natalie, really seem to be embracing etiquette.

“It’s actually pretty interesting because then, you know, I really like history, personally, and I feel like it’s a really big rewind of history to learn of all these different manners.  So that way, when you’re at dinner with your friends or family, that way you know what to do in a certain situation when they’re giving out food,” says Natalie.

Clise says teaching our children about etiquette and manners arms them with confidence and the ability to relate with kindness; especially in a world that could mind its manners more.

“There really are a lot of negative influences, so having something positive, like this, and having something where you learn the importance of kindness, I think balances out all that negativity, definitely.  Little by little we’re changing the world.  We’re trying to do what we can.  The more kids that we touch and the more adults, it spreads, and people share what they learned with others,” says Clise.

If a table setting can help set the stage for social success…

"I just started opening doors for people more,” says Natalie with a smile.

Maybe good manners truly can open doors. Opening our kids up to even greater possibilities.

“People learn this stuff in different ways and for her to get to learn it young, it seems like she has a leg up on everybody else,” says Williams.

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