# children's etiquette # Chronicle Books

My Next Book | CONNOISSEUR KIDS | Chronicle Books

Hello dear readers,

I am so pleased today to finally announce the details on my next book, CONNOISSEUR KIDS, from Chronicle Books.

CONNOISSEUR KIDS is a book on etiquette, manners and living well for little ones! It is an interactive book for the whole family, encouraging family togetherness and bonding over etiquette, manners and tidiness lessons.

All parents want to raise well-mannered children. They are a joy to be around! This book will be a game-changer in the etiquette genre because it encourages the child to not only think about how they can live well through etiquette, but also why it's important and how it will help them in their daily lives.

CONNOISSEUR KIDS will be released in the fall of 2019. As I write the book, I would love to hear from you! Please leave me your suggestions. What areas do you and your children struggle with? Table manners? Tidy rooms? Social interactions? Communication? As you look beyond your own children to society, what areas do you think parents in general need to improve upon? Please leave me your feedback below. I love to hear from you!

I would like to thank my agent, Erica Silverman, at Trident Media Group, as well as my new editor, Sarah Billingsley, at Chronicle Books. I also want to thank all of you for your unwavering support over the years! I am so excited and feel very passionately about this next project and hope you do too.

With love,


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Ladylike said...

Dear Jennifer,

What an excellent idea this is! I only wish it could be published sooner. Judging by the children in Jane Austen's "Persuasion", these questions have plagued families for at least 200 years.

I am very fortunate, in that I have few struggles with my children, which I will explain below, and I receive many compliments on my children. But in society at large, I see two problematic tendencies. One is that many parents fail to understand that they need to model the behavior they want to see in their children. A tiny example of this happened when I asked my husband not to cross the street diagonally because I wanted our son to cross the street straight-across for his safety. At first, my husband argued with me, stating that he should be able to cross the street as he liked, but I finally helped him to understand that, if we wanted our son to cross the street in a certain way, he would have to model it.

I know a family in which the parents themselves are slobs (really no other word can be used) in their home-keeping and when they travel, and yet I am sure they wish for their children to be tidy. Similarly, they rarely sit down to a family dinner with their children, preferring to let the nanny feed them their dinner, and the nanny is not an Austen-type governess, just a person who provides reasonable childcare. Then, the parents wonder why the children don't behave as desired at a holiday table, for instance.

The second tendency I see in our society is a failure to understand the child's energy type. Carol Tuttle has written an wonderful book called "The Child Whisperer". You may wish to look at it as part of your research into the available literature. In this book, she describes four different energy types that she believes children (and adults) can have. I am lucky in that my children's energy types are similar to my own. My daughter is a "more serious child", and my son is a "sensitive child". We are all quiet introverts together, and this makes getting along much easier. Different energy types benefit from a different approach, and many struggles can be explained by not recognizing the approach that the child needs.

I hope these comments will be useful to you as you are writing your book. I am very much looking forward to reading it!

As always,

Live Chic and Well said...

What a great idea for a book!
I’ll be buying it for sure. Manners and etiquette are so important but the younger generation have many challenges making it harder to learn them.
Sarah livechicandwell.com

Live Chic and Well said...

Hmm, in terms of what to include in the book, I think I’d love to hear about how to encourage kids to be tidy, clean up after themselves etc as this is an issue for my 3 and 5 year old. Also advice on harmony between siblings as it’s hard to know how to deal with it when they don’t get on and try to compete against each other.
Thank you 😊


Gwen said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for your wonderful blog/vlog. I look forward to them every week.
I am confident that your new book will help many parents find ways to help their children be the respectful, well-behaved children they want them to be, without stifling their natural exuberance.
As a retired high school teacher, and observer of society, I would beg parents to lay down some laws in reference to cell phone use. At first, phones were not allowed in class. Then, when that failed because parents WANTED their children to have them with them, we teachers had to "police" our classes and find some way to keep students from using their phones during instruction, in addition to teaching all 30 of the students, and making proper allowances for those on special plans, and trying to head-off behavior problems. Since I retired, teachers have been permitted to let students use their phones in class for research, or, as in foreign languages, which I taught, to use them creatively as a part of the lesson. They are still a problem, however, and parents don't give their teens any input about what they expect of them, in reference to using - or NOT using - those phones.
Also, inappropriate language in public places, which includes the halls in schools, is rampant.
Before and after school, and during the five minutes for each class change, we had to stand in the hall by our rooms. The offensive language was (and still is) disturbing, as is the disrespect shown to teachers who request that they not use it. Very often, the parents use the same language and model the same disrespect, which you find out when you have to attend a conference with them about their son/daughter.
Communication is probably the thing most lacking in families. Too many parents don't let their children know that they HAVE expectations for their behavior. They let them drift and be blown every which-way by
any influence that comes along. Their doesn't seem to be any structure in families. In many of them, there is no one at the top setting up guidelines - parents have abdicated their roles, preferring to be buddies with their children, and believing their children can do no wrong, and even, in some cases, letting their children run things.
I hope you will give mention to these things in your book.
I thank you for all you do to encourage people to live fine lives.

Pauline said...

I can’t wait to read your new book! I have two girls, ages 2 and 5. The older girl is unfailingly polite and considerate of others, but has trouble being assertive and advocating for herself when necessary. I really want to show her that it is possible to be polite and assertive. I wonder if this topic could be included?
Thank you for continuing with your blog/vlog—it is a highlight in my work week!

Margaret said...

How exciting! I'd love any extra tips on table manners and sibling relationships. I am also growing frustrated that families seem to often divide and conquer instead of operating as one unit. We have hosted several outdoor potlucks with a campfire or even dinners in the past year where only one parent and half the children come because the other parent/child are at a sporting event or kids birthday party. We also had an instance where a 13-yr child was allowed to stay home as she'd rather be on her phone?! Honestly makes me sad as those big gatherings with lots of children can be so special! It's also a great opportunity for a child to see proper adult conversation and behavior modeled (assuming kids aren't banished to the basement 😉). Am I the only one frustrated by this or have others experience similar situations? How do I handle these situations graciously? Id love your thoughts as you always have such a sincere and kind approach.

Karen said...

I love the idea of this book and I wish you the best as you research and write! I have 3 teens now and we started trying to teach these values/skills to our children when they were pretty young. I really like things very tidy and clean and visual clutter really bothers me.:) One of my teen daughters did a very good job of picking up after herself, keeping her room tidy, etc. when she was younger. However, now as a teen soon going to college, she doesn't see the value in keeping things neat and organized and it can be a bone of contention between the two of us. I know you haven't gotten to this stage yet in parenting, but I wonder if there are other parents out there and if they might have advice for keeping this up through the teen years?!? Or maybe it's just my daughter?!

Bridget said...

I love this! I'm so excited to read it. I have two children age 4 and 1. Now this is a tricky topic and may be diving deeper than you intend to for this book. I'd like some guidance on big issues like race, economic/social status, Human rights etc. Like I said, might not be the right kind of book for this. Thank you for all you do.

Ewa said...

Similarly to Bridget, I would really appreciate some tips on a big issue.

We live in times when countries are more and more focused on their own achievements (to the point of actually reformulating teaching curriculum - which happened in my country - and limiting foreign literature/ international history in subject syllabi), and I would love to hear/ read your thoughts on bringing up internationally-minded children who know other peoples, other cultures, and the place of their country in the larger scheme of things.

If you don't intend to tackle this, maybe some quick tips or referring us (I think there may be more people like me) to an inspiring source of inspiration, if you know such? Looking forward to your next book:)

Woman of the House said...

Excellent idea for a book! My children are grown now, but I would have loved a book like this when they were younger. I used to read old Emily Post etiquette books to fill in gaps in my knowledge. One development that I just can't get used to is being called by my first name by children and young people (outside of school, that is; students still call me Mrs. _______). It is so disconcerting, but I try not to let it show. Even the southern Miss/Ms. [first name] is so much better than a first name alone. I'd be curious what your and others' thoughts are on this topic.

Congratulations on the new book! Two years seems like a long time to wait, but I'm sure for you it will fly by! :)

Ladylike said...

This is a note for Ewa. My mother is from a European country, and I spent a part of my childhood there; so I understand the desire to raise children with an international perspective. My solution has been to put my son into a International Baccalaureate school, which includes the study of a foreign language, and to put my daughter into a foreign language immersion school. Both of these are public schools in the US. IF you look for these types of schools, you may be able to find one near you. Our schools are an hour away from us, but they're worth the drive. The result has been very pleasing. Just this morning, I was thinking of the benefits that my children derive just from knowing that there is more than one word for any object and from knowing what many of these words are. The I.B. schools also focus on different points of view in history. For example, my son last night told us that he was informed of the Vietnamese understanding of the reasons for the Vietnam War. Additionally, it can be helpful to bring books into your home that relate stories from around the world such as "The Fabrics of Fairytale: Stories Spun from Far and Wide." Best wishes to you and your family!
~ Alexandra

Ewa said...

Hi Alexandra,
I work in an IB school, which is partly why I see the problem so sharply, but while we have great secondary schools where I live, the quality of primary schools either leaves much to be desired, or they're really inconvenient to drive to (and I believe childhood psychologists who say the best school is the nearest school). (Also, kids who go to charter/private schools in my country have their own set od issues I didn't want my kid to be exposed to too early, pardon my saying that). And they're expensive for a teacher to afford. I'll probably will have to find a good charter school, though.

Thank you for the excellent tip about tales! We read books about foreign cities, but that's potentially so much better! And thank you for the response -

Louise said...

I am impressed when children show empathy, concern and kindness towards other people. Some children can communicate well with people of all ages, and some children can't (or don't make the effort). It would be great if you could discuss ways parents can instill in their children concern and interest in the people around them.
"Connoisseur" children and adults should be able to (or at least make an effort) to relate to and converse with people around them, even if it's just a few kind words.

Unknown said...

Love this book idea from you! I'm an only child and grew up with no extended family. I am now married with four children and don't have an example of how to handle certain situations that come up with my kids. My husband also has no family. I think a couple of things I wonder about the most is how to handle sibling arguments and other issues. i wonder sometimes how formal our manners should be. I want our children to be themselves and being kids they're silly so I wonder sometimes if I should restrict the poop jokes altogether or just at the dinner table for example. If they're being bullied and someone hits them should I teach them to defend themselves or walk away? Should I teach them to call adults by their last name or as Miss and their first name. It seems a lot of kids say Miss and the first name which I'm unsure about.
Best of luck with your book! I am looking forward to it.

Unknown said...

Yay!!!! I'm SO excited!! I would love to have a boy section specifically if that seems relevant. I have three boys. We take them to high tea and they do lovely but it never hurts to start making them gentlemen now. I also would love to know how to get a shy child more interactive with others in social situations. I don't know if that is relevant either but will love whatever you make for sure!! I'm so excited and congratulations! :)

Donna said...

Hi Jenifer, I'd like to mention one question that some people are commenting on. In the South we teach our young children to call our adult friends Miss or Mr in front of their first name. For example; Miss Susan, or Mr Fred. This is only for friends of the family or the parents of our children's friends. All other people are addressed by their last name such as Mr Smith or Mrs Smith - unless they asked to be addressed differently. Our children go on to address these adults, from their childhood, that way maybe forever. We are all nearly 60 now but it's just a sign of respect from these now young adults to still address us that way - soon, as they move on into adulthood, they usually drop the title! In writing notes we teach or children to write "Mrs Susan" even though they say, Miss Susan! Now that my daughter is an adult of course she doesn't call new people by the Miss/Mr with a first name unless the person is very elderly and Southern - then the, Miss, is a show of respect for the lady's advanced age. I know this isn't done everywhere in our country and may be laughed at by some but it's worked for us Southerners for generations - I hope my daughter's generation continues it. Jennifer, your first book gets tucked into many of my gifts to the 20+ generation. Now I am looking forward to your new book! Love your blog and books. Loved your course on the 10 item wardrobe! Best of luck.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, thank you so much for your kind, supportive comments and suggestions! I am already having so much fun writing this book. Many of you touched on some great subjects. I appreciate you!

Janine said...

Idea on how to gracefully manage sibling rivalry, PLEASE! I have a 13-year old boy and an 8-year old girl. Individually, each one is well-behaved and good natured, but when they're together they bicker and argue, which of course is every day - every car ride, every dinner, breakfast. I don't think I know how to handle this well. Also, I wonder what lessons kids learn from their siblings besides how to deal with difficult people in the real world. Looking forward to your book!

Frieda said...

My three children are grown and I'm a grandmother. Having lived in several countries over these years, I've learned to prize some culturally diverse tips.
1. REHEARSE rather than tell. "We are going to see Grandpa Joe. Who will you greet first and what will you say and do? OK then, show me: I'll be Grandpa and you come in the front door and do and say the best things!" "Show me what you will say and do if your friend gives you a present you don't really like."
2. When reprimanding, always act gently but firmly, speak quietly and if possible privately. It's amazing what a difference this makes. Do not shame a child in public. Yell only if the house is on fire. (I heard a woman in the grocery store scream at her child, "YOU SHUT UP AND BE QUIET!" That's so sad that it's funny!)
3. Praise often. "You walked out of the room rather than hit back. That took courage and self discipline. I'm proud of you."
4. Read out loud, encourage them to find the answers to their questions by pointing where to look, play games and model being a good loser, really listen to them.
5. Sibing rivalry is difficult. Sometimes changing the subject works. I look forward to hearing more tips on this.

Unknown said...

Jennifer, I would like some tips on how to raise a non-materialistic child (they all have so much today and seem not to appreciate anymore), how to be a self-starter and grow to be an independent and confident adult. I have all your books and I am definitely going to buy your next one, I already look forward to it, I am sure it will not disappoint. What age group are you tackling ? All the very best, greetings from CH

Pj said...

I love Frieda's mentioning rehearse rather than tell. It is so good to train this way for many different situations~~prepare the children for what may come up when you are going into a given situation. Things do come up that one does not expect or has not planned for. At these times, when your children do not respond or react in a way that you prefer, rather than speak harshly or quickly, make a mental note to yourself, "This is something we need to rehearse at home." The more you rehearse at home, the easier it is for your children to be comfortable in a variety of situations.

I also agree with correcting privately, as often as possible. This shows respect for the child.

It is loving your children when you train them to experience delayed gratification or an outright no, with grace.
" Long-term studies prove the most important human discipline involved in long-term success is the ability to forego IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION for a larger but delayed reward."
--Walter Mischel Dept of Psychology Colombia University

When one teaches her children respect for others, personal boundaries, respect for other people's property, gratitude, work skills, courtesy, etc., one is giving her child a huge gift. The children will be liked and in demand for employment in the years to come.

Talking with your children from the time they are born in normal language (rather than baby talk) is another good topic. This gives the child a definite advantage in life. My daughter has done something that is very effective. When her children can say words, she does not allow noises to gain her attention. If they whine or make a demanding noise and point or if they begin to push or pull at an annoying sibling to get the sibling's attention or correct a sibling, she tells the child to "use words." It is amazing how young a child can learn to do this. She has even done this with the children's cousins when they are being physical or noisy rather than making their request in words!

It is so embarrassing and sad to see parents who are afraid of their children and give in to their every whim. That is a sure way to stunt a child's chance of success in life.

I am quite sure you will address not having too many clothes for children. I see heaps and heaps of laundry that needs folding and there are still many items of clothing in cupboards and closets. If there is a smaller wardrobe, the laundry would probably need to be done as often, but the folding would be a snap rather than a Mt. Everest that seems unclimbable!

I am so thankful for your books and I look forward to Connoisseur Kids! Keep up the good work, Jennifer. I have found you recently and consider you a gem of a find!

Unknown said...

I have 3 children under the age of 5. Right now the older two have a lot of fears with dogs, storms and getting water in their faces. Even after rehearsing, we still often have tensions over these fears because we're all tired and our will power is low. How do you handle tense situations where fears are involved and extra love is needed? We are also at a stage where they can use their words to tell me what they want, but that doesn't mean they will get what they want. I feel like I'm constantly trying to teach them gratitude, patience, and understanding. Maybe I need to be a better model of these traits? Do you practice modeling these traits and if you do, how do you go about doing it?

Woman of the House said...

Unknown, I hope you don't mind me putting my two cents in. Your children are still very young, and it takes a long time to learn gratitude, patience, and understanding. Many adults haven't learned these, myself included sometimes. Keep modeling and teaching these traits, and remember it will take a long time. I had such an epiphany when I was a young mother when I realized child training wasn't going to happen over night, that I would be repeating myself many, many times. Don't lose heart! :)

Maureen said...

This is exciting! I would be very interested in the following topics regarding children: communication, electronic devices, eating at someone else's home, resilience when things don't go their way. Looking forward to adding Connoisseur Kids to the library!

Pj said...

In response to Summer Smith regarding a shy child~

I believe that there is a difference between a shy child and a natural introvert, though a lot of introverts tend to be what one might consider shy. I know a lot of introverted children feel obligated/pressured to be "more social," enjoy groups of people and be more talkative. They are led to believe that their natural "in the background" tendency is not as acceptable as the more outgoing child.

If a child is polite, looks people in the eye when talking, and responds to questions, but is content with being alone or more comfortable in a smaller group setting, or comfortable listening rather than talking, she/he may just be an introvert.

I have raised eight children and have 47 grandchildren so far, and I have very few introverted progeny, perhaps less than a handful. :) To be around a person who is content to be quiet and not interact much vocally can be uncomfortable, but I have learned that I need to be comfortable with them and try to understand that they may be uncomfortable when pressured to talk more or interact more. It has been a lesson for me to allow spaces of silence and enjoy another's presence without a lot of talk; it has not come naturally to me! I believe these children need to be respected for how God created them.

There is a website for introverts and one of the articles features "introvert strategies for extrovert play," which may be helpful. I do not know if it is acceptable to post a link in these comments, but you can search on quietrev.com for this article. Also, there is a website where Carol Tuttle talks about the four different types of energies people have, which encourages people to accept who they are and live their true selves rather than try to be someone else. She encourages parents to learn about their children's energy types so the parents can lovingly accept and interact with each child.

Jennifer, I know you will do a good job of addressing the subjects you choose! God bless you and give you much wisdom as you write!

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer, I love your books and really look forward to this one. I two children and many nieces and nephews.

I'd love to have you address the issue of the lack of separation between the children's and the adult world. At many gatherings (dinner parties, holiday parties, dining out) people just bring their children along, or never put them to bed at a reasonable hour. We all sit around trying to enjoy a cocktail or some conversation with children running or interrupting. Surely this isn't the children's fault. Maybe this isn't the right book for this topic, but it does need to be addressed somewhere.

I love children, but there is a time and place for everything.

Laurie said...

I can totally sympathize with clean rooms and teens. You might have to pick your battles and decide if it's worth a war. That was what it came to with my sixth child, and I learned to just close the door. With my other children, when it got bad,I would give several warnings bearing three days before and then I would provide maid service...and they paid for it. That generally did the trick. They hated that.

Mallory said...

My son attends a Montessori school and one of the things I love the most about it is that they have high expectations for the children in terms of manners, self-awareness and consideration for others, as well as treating them like small humans and not 'just kids'.

Children also need to be taught how they can adjust to suit different social situations; they don't need to act the same way at the park as they do a nice restaurant. They need to learn to read social cues as much as they can and adjust accordingly. I think you may have good manners, but you cannot be truly well mannered if you don't have consideration for and awareness of the people around you.

Happy writing! I look forward to the new book.

Amanda said...

YES!!! I have two polite and well mannered boys ages 8 and 10. My husband and I are at a loss as to how to get them to be more assertive. I can’t wait for the new book!

Hannah Geci said...


I would love to hear your thoughts on how we as parents can cultivate the desire in our children to live well. I know we live by example, but I would like to know how to convey these ideas and teach my children without feeling like I'm just nagging them.

I am very much looking forward to your book!