Importance of good manners

Olivia Orchard-Gibb, 13, prepares for a lesson in dining table etiquette.
Olivia Orchard-Gibb, 13, prepares for a lesson in dining table etiquette. Claudia Baxter

MODERN-DAY society is often criticised for lacking the personal touch of yesteryear as manners and politeness fall by the wayside.

The 'me-first' aspect of society caught the attention of Heidi Fischer, spurning her passion to bring manners back for the children of today - and Ipswich parents want to see what she has to offer.

The Gold Coast-based Mrs Fischer started Manners Maketh two years ago to teach children the same social skills she learnt during her childhood.

"When you look around today, there's people only looking out for themselves, and I think it's really sad and it has to come back the other way," she said.

Interest in the course soared, with Ipswich parents wanting their children to learn to respect others throughout their day-to-day encounters.

Mrs Fischer said it was the little things, like standing up for an elderly person on public transport or knowing how to thank a host, that were not as prominent in today's society.

She said parents often wanted to instil these values in their children and saw the classes as a way to reinforce what they learnt at home.

"It's like a finishing school where you can equip children with these final details. Parents are time-poor and even though they are teaching these lessons, I can put them in a different situation and teach them something they may not know," Mrs Fischer said.

The course covers greetings, tact and rudeness, table etiquette, conversation and the importance of people.

"What we are trying to do is make it not so much old fashioned, but to teach children these skills that gives them confidence and be able to manage these situations to make them comfortable," she said.

Mother of two Lucy Campbell-Peut, of Marburg, has enrolled her children in the course to build their confidence in social situations.

"My firm belief is that manners are built out of respect, and as a parent we are teaching these things at home but children need to hear them from someone else to affirm it," she said.

For more information on Mrs Fischer's course, go to

Topics:  etiquette manners

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