Sharing with Claire on French good manners
French mother, artistic director at Publicis as well as founder of Aristokids, a children's etiquette consultancy, Claire is an expert on good manners. Also author and creative manager of a newly published book called "Les dix clefs des bonnes manières", (the ten good manner keys) we had the pleasure of discussing with her on the topic.
Could you please tell us a little about the origins of French etiquette?
Each and every country has its own customs and traditions. France's ones date back to several centuries.
We could say they officially began with Erasme, tutor of the duke of Bourgogne around 1500 followed by Catherine de Médicis who introduced the fork and macarons to the royal court. Then came Louis XIV, the Sun King, who brought French refinement and prestige to its pinnacle.
We have a rich heritage to be proud of. Through Aristokids, we are keeping it alive and passing it down to today's children to apply in their daily modern lives. We give out etiquette courses at home and through Face Time too.
If you had to keep one good manner rule only which one would it be?
I would keep the first key from my book called "The magic words". There are five of them : please, hello, thank you, goodbye and sorry. They form the pillars of social interactions between humans.
Yet all ten of rules are essential and go with one another. Only by mastering all ten, can a child fully be in harmony with its environment and interact correctly with others.
Could you present your project and the book a little more please? How did you come up with this idea?
Four years ago, I lost my third daughter Castille. This marked a turning point. From then on, I decided to focus on what I loved the most. Alongside my job as artistic director in the beauty field, I set myself the fascinating challenge of clarifying and shedding light on good manners and rules of politeness for all children without limits. That's how Aristokids was born.
As you will have guessed this book is inspired by my own experience as a mother and by the Aristokids lessons provided by my team of coaches.
To illustrate my ten rules, I wanted to blend realism and fantasy and found just what I was looking for through the beautiful universe of @by bm. Regarding the foreword, I asked Nicole Lambert, the ultimate French children's book author, to give her unique touch to my project!
The book sums up the basis of politeness and considerate attitude in all circumstances. The two go hand in hand so as to respect others and their differences. It is cut up into ten chapters each focusing on one specific rule and is translated into English. Good manners have no boundaries and can be applied worldwide.
I speak directly to your children, to all those who wish to become aristokids in ten steps. We define an aristokid as a well educated young person with a kind heart and touch of fantasy. Each and every one of you can become one!
I hope you will have as much pleasure in reading and applying my ten golden rules as I did in creating and bringing to life this project. May these clear and simple keys available to kids of all ages, open up new doors, be it the door of their hearts and/or the doors of success.
Would you like to share a piece of advice to mothers of the world?
Yes, I would like to give three tips! First please be kind and gentle towards yourselves, your children and other mothers too! Whilst learning we all need to feel supported.
Secondly, try as much as you can to combine playing and learning. It is in this spirit that I conceived my whole book!
And finally never forget, a child can be extremely clever, a real genius, but if he is not well behaved and has no manners, he will sooner or later loose his gifts...