Etiquette Advice and Tough Love

Sometimes while doing research for the Etiquipedia.blogspot, I peruse old newspapers that I come across. The adverts are always fun to read, along with the “personals” section. I especially enjoy comics and advice for women. It’s a great way to immerse myself in the past and to, for a while at least, forget about the seemingly never ending, 2020 Covid -19 pandemic.

High hem, high heels and high fashion in January of 1929
The other night, I found an especially entertaining newspaper from 1929. The fashion in “Just Among Us Girls” was a vintage blast. As it was in January 1929, and nine months before the famous Wall Street crash, the quip accompanying it was fun and still in good taste. 

The following advice for removing cigarette stains from fingers was interesting. I would have suggested lemon juice, or even vinegar, knowing how well they work with other stains. I guess rubbing alcohol would be out of the question, as this was during Prohibition.
This brief spot below on telephone manners for children, was a nice find. When my kids were little they were continually praised by callers who told me, on more than a few occasions, that they answered the phone more professionally than most people at businesses they called. Being a former telephone operator, I had taught them early how to answer the phone and how to take messages. They knew I took phone manners seriously.
One Mother Says— “I have taught my little girls how to use the telephone. They know they must not shout or speak too low and must listen attentively. I have made them understand that the telephone is not a toy and is only to be used for important calls and conversations. Telephone operators tell me that they have much trouble with children playing with phones and leaving the receivers down or simply wasting their time with foolish calls.” 

The real gem of the bunch was this article below on raising a child with physical handicaps… what we call “physically challenged” today. It’s full of wisdom, common sense, a big helping of tough love and a lot of heart. It is “Guiding Your Child” by Agnes Lyne and well worth the read:

Guiding Your Child

HANDICAPS – To his parents, Dick was the most precious thing in life. When at the age of three he was severely ill with scarlet fever, they watched over him and knew every breath he drew. For days, he hung on the point of death and for many weeks he lay wan and feeble without energy to talk or move. Although before his illness, Dick had already developed a fair vocabulary and was a fine enterprising lad in his play, after it he returned to the ways of his baby days. Slowly he was taught to walk again, and gradually he made friends with his playthings once more. 

But his speech did not come back. He asked for things by crying and pointing, in inarticulate sounds and gestures. He did not respond when spoken to, it seemed as though he had become quite deaf. Appalled by their tragedy, the parents waited on their afflicted baby hand and foot. They watched his expressions and anticipated his wishes. He never had to exert himself to get what he wanted, they rushed to bring it to him at his cry. By the time he was four, his retardation was so marked and his improvement so slight that they took him to a specialist who found that Dick had indeed lost his hearing in one ear, but that there was no other physical handicap. Then a psychologist found that as far as it was possible to judge his intelligence was normal. 

With their new insight and the persistence of their love, his parents decided to make Dick grow up. They left him to get things for himself whenever it was possible. When he grunted and pointed a finger, they said the name of the object he wanted, and not until he had at least made an, effort to repeat the word after them did they let him have it. Slowly he improved. Many a child who has as genuine a handicap as had Dick is injured more by its psychological consequences than by the difficulty itself. Parents need to be on guard, lest the unwise treatment of a handicap becomes more of a drawback than the handicap itself. – By Agnes Lyne, January 1929


Popular Posts