MINDING P'S AND Q'S; TEACHER SEES FUTURE IN MANNERS.
Jacqueline Lombard has a mind to mind her manners and those of others.
The entrepreneur, elementary school teacher and etiquette instructor is preparing to teach young people the do's and don'ts of dining and the fundamentals of good manners in a series of workshops to take place in restaurants throughout Ventura County.
``People want to know what to do,'' said Lombard, adding that young people are well-served to learn good manners. ``If the kids get some of this stuff down, they'll have their parents wrapped around their fingers.''
Lombard's Mind Your Manners workshops, scheduled to begin next month, will be geared toward children in two age groups, 7 to 11 and 12 to 16 years, who will participate in interactive role playing and hands-on training.
The groups will meet in area restaurants during the slower business hours - after school but before the dinner rush.
According to Lombard, manners are for everyone, and they are particularly important as the holidays approach. Parties and family get-togethers are a proving ground for those who have manners and those who have no clue what to do.
``There's a reason for manners,'' Lombard said.
From the beginning of civilization, she said, people have worked to develop a system, depending upon each other for goods and services. Rules for social interaction evolved into the rules of conduct we now know as manners.
She explained that common sense and courtesy dictate the set of social guidelines referred to as manners, and that people exhibit good or bad manners in everything they do.
``We have manners when we drive and when we play sports,'' she said.
Among the don'ts she cited as examples of improper manners - applying makeup in public and not listening when someone else is speaking.
``The height of being rude is telling someone else they have bad manners,'' said Lombard, subtly cautioning more socially savvy individuals to bridle self-righteous enthusiasm.
According to Lombard, kinder, gentler traditions are seeing a comeback. The ``do your own thing'' days of a few decades ago are long gone, she said, and people are looking for better, more satisfying ways to relate to one another.
``Before the 1960s and '70s, respect and character mattered,'' said Lombard. She said people are remembering that character counts, and that respect for others is rewarded with respect. ``Etiquette is not about not pleasing yourself. It's about pleasing yourself and others.''
Children, she said, are growing up in this new return-to-courteousness era, and they need to be prepared for it.
A substitute teacher for the Pleasant Valley Elementary School District for the past year, Lombard has had ample opportunity to observe the manners of her young charges. She noticed, for example, that from fourth grade on, good behaviors and conduct were often lacking.
Lombard decided to bridge the manners gap.
``I really felt the time was right,'' said Lombard.
Lombard said her goal is to show children and teens how they can relate to etiquette and bring it into their own lives. She said her key to success will be relating to young people.
The instructor said the smaller children learn via fun activities and clever expressions.
``If you're too removed, you can't expect them to understand,'' said Lombard.
Lombard said the early response to her classes, which will cost $95 for the first sessions scheduled to begin in early October, has been positive. She plans to restrict the class size to 12 students, in order to provide each participant with proper individualized attention.
Lombard said she is considering a grand finale dinner event for her students and their parents where graduates can test their newfound skills.
For more information about Mind Your Manners, call (805) 445-1102.
Photo: (color in Conejo edition only) Clockwise from lower left are Jeff Shelters, Lindsey Pierce, Jacqueline Lombard, Morgan Pierce and Lauren Sanders. Lombard, an etiquette instructor, is preparing to teach young people the do's and don'ts of dining.
Eric Grigorian/Special to the Daily News
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Sep 25, 1999|
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