11th Feb 2020 READ IT

Manners Begin at Breakfast


With less than three weeks to go until my book on manners comes out (March 10th in the US, March 5th in the UK) it feels important to share a little bit about how this exciting new project came to be and why the Marie-Chantal blog has been quiet for a bit.

One of my favorite quotes has always been ‘Manners maketh man’. Yes, it was in the movie ‘Kingsman’ but it is an old English proverb believed to have come from William Horman, headmaster of Eton, who lived in England in the 15th century.

What it does mean is that manners really matter and it is what makes us distinguishably human; that proper etiquette and an understanding of what is correct are what prevent us from becoming savage. Well, to a degree! But I do think that manners seem to be more important now than ever and that, as parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children well. We spend so much time making sure they excel in school and in sports but how about we start by making sure we teach them how to treat others and to behave well when out in the world?

The idea of writing a book about etiquette for modern families had its roots in this blog which I started in 2013.  So many people were asking me how I managed a busy schedule whilst also raising five children. The blog seemed to be the ideal way to share my ideas and information on parenting tips covering topics from everything on what to wear to birthday parties, sibling rivalry, whether to vaccinate or not, battling the flu and of course all things manners.

And so the idea of writing the book was born and started two years ago. From the beginning, my editor at Vendome press thought that the title should be ‘Manners begin at Breakfast’. It was because I kept on repeating it whilst discussing the different chapters, when we were still outlining the book.

I really do believe that manners begin at breakfast, right at the very start of every day. It’s the little routines that we do that make such an impact on how we parent.

I’ve put it all in the book and I’m so excited that its nearly here, so until then I thought we would share a few topics covered.

Hope you enjoy!

Gaming:

As a mother of 5, I know more about gaming than I ever wanted to know, from creepers in Minecraft to the array of Fortnite battles.  What both of these games have in common, however, is that they can be multiplayer games.  This means children can interact with strangers on public servers.  I therefore only allow my children to use a private server, and I also insist that they create avatars and never use their real names. Keeping your children safe and secure is paramount.

Five golden rules for a play date:

  1. Don’t schedule too far in advance; a week or less is fine, and even an impromptu last-minute play date is okay (though bear in mind it may not be convenient for the other party).
  2. Always be on time for pickup and drop-off.
  3. When your child is older, they are the guest not you, so you shouldn’t linger. Unless invited, don’t stay.
  4. Always thank the person who hosted. (A text message thanking them is fine). Similarly, make sure your child knows to say “Thank you for having me” when leaving.
  5. Always reciprocate!

Appropriate gifts:

Don’t know what to give?  Here are some thoughtful idea for a variety of events:

Baby shower: It is advisable to select a gift from the registry, as most new parents will have wish lists and you will be able to buy them what they really need.  One option is to get together with another friend and buy a join gift, like a Moses basket or a pram.  Failing that, you can never go wrong with any type of personalised baby gifts, a selection of onesies, a rattle, a baby blanket, or a toy for the nursery. Be creative.

Sprinkle: Since a sprinkle is a shower for a second or third baby, most parents should already have the basics covered, so you can give a cute outfit or choose from one of the ideas above.

Hope you enjoy the book. Manners forever! ❤️

MC

The book is available to pre-order on www.mariechantal.com and launches in the UK on the 5th of March and in the US on the 10th March.  You can also find it in your local bookstore; Barnes & Noble, Rizzoli, Books-A Million and Powell’s in the US and Waterstones, Hatchard’s and WH Smith in the UK.