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Publisher's Summary

Unlock the key to creating a cultivated life for your child with this precise parenting guide. You will learn how to raise an engaging, accomplished, and sophisticated child, one who gets noticed for all the right reasons. From fine dining, travel, and art appreciation to navigating social media with integrity - Beyond Good Manners: How to Raise a Sophisticated Child will show you how to take your child to the next level. Whether your child is five or 15, this is the one book you will reference time and again for advice and techniques that are relevant, practical, and insightful.

©2016 Tara Woods Turner, J.Blake Turner, PhD (P)2016 Tara Woods Turner, J.Blake Turner, PhD

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • PJ
  • 05-05-17

Covered key areas of child rearing

The author emphasizes standards that are often lost in our adaptation to an evolving e-social, and postmodern culture. Well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sophisticate a child or even yourself!

4.5 stars
I am always curious about self-help books, especially in terms of parenting. This book takes a little different approach into helping kids evolve into model citizens and not become d-bags (well, hopefully). Though, I still do not have the easiest time listening to a self-help book versus reading one. It helps to see lists and such. Because of this, I took a lot of notes while listening to book and will include them in this review.

I like how there are many considerations taken into account for this book (like what a parent is, and discussing genders). This book can easily apply to adults as well as children. It seems that one good rule-of-thumb for every section of this book is to just lead by example.

One thing that is not really addressed is what to do when the behavior is going in a complete opposite direction of good manners. Though, I know that this is not the purpose of this book and would likely require a different psychological approach.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

Suggestions for the author: I think it might be helpful if the author had a blog or something that listed some “tips of the day” that come from the book related to having more sophisticated children. There are so many good one-liners that I feel would help a lot of people.

Audiobook narrator Madonna Lucey rating: 4 stars
The narrator did just fine for a non-fiction book. It’s hard for me to judge when there isn’t any opportunity to deliver dialogue, etc.

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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I wrote down some notes for each chapter. I put them in a spoiler block (only works on Goodreads) so that they won’t take up too much room. I feel that I understand each chapter better when I take notes this way. This is a little long but, that’s my problem, not yours!


1. Manners have been important since ancient cultures were around. It’s good to introduce kids to etiquette.

2. It’s always important to introduce kids to other people so that they won’t be hesitant of this. Have them shake hands and look adults in the eye. Having them help greet people at parties helps. Greet in a certain order – male then female, older to younger. Be sure to thank afterwards.

3. Common courtesy goes a long way (please, thank you, excuse me, may I, will you, etc.). Be sure to apologize, not to be sorry; they can convey different meanings. Don’t finish sentences of others and be sure to actively listen to what others say.

4. Table manners (or dining etiquette) are pretty similar to other manners and etiquette. Basically, be on your best behavior while eating. If something needs to leave your mouth, make sure it comes out the way it came in (whether on a fork, spoon, or your hands). It is ok to stick around and have nice conversation with other people at the table.

5. I like the idea of getting a kid a stationary set in order for them to write good thank you notes. I agree that receiving hand written letters is a fun thing and more meaningful.

6. Let kids pick out what they want to wear then explain why this works or doesn’t work. Living near a big city is a good chance to go to a fashion show and/or check out different types of fashion. Give older kids a clothing allowance. Explain to kids about wearing ‘nice’ things. Make up is meant to enhance your looks, not change. Lead by example. Having appropriate clothes for each occasion is important. Kids shouldn’t wear diamond jewelry until older than 18.

7. Cultivate your kid’s palate. Expose them to all sorts of foods, especially ‘more sophisticated’ foods. Introduce new foods early and often. But, still let them have an opinion and eat what they will eat. Let kids help cook, they might like the food more. Mimic restaurants (lighting, music, etc.). Have a kid plan a picnic themselves. Go to cultural things like farmers’ markets and other cultural events.

8. Acknowledge success, be involved, be prepared, etc. Incorporate academic stuff here and there (using big words, asking thought provoking questions, showing practical examples, etc.).

9. Share art and cultural things with kids. Lead by example: share with them what you like and go from there. Accept the arts and music your kids are into and show how they relate to what you were into (the parent). Take kids to art exhibits and other cultural things. Expose them to literary classics.

10. Have the kid seriously take part in the planning of a party or event that you are managing. They can see what it takes to put something like this together. Especially, have the kid plan their own party from making unique invitations, to creatively delivering the food, etc.

11. Eating healthy is very important. Go over food labels with kids and explain why things are healthy. Exercise does so much more than ‘run off energy’. It helps develop and mold all sorts of the kid’s life. Competitive sports look great on college applications. Help bolster your child’s mental health by being supportive. This chapter has many great ideas on how to increase wellness in kids.

12. Use common sense when letting kids use the internet and social media. Have them build a website/blog for their family to get familiar with what is out there. For social media, never have the kid post anything that they would not say in front of the parent. Think before posting. Cyber bullying is something we all should look out for and be aware of.

13. Employ active listening when in the midst of a conflict. Calm down before jumping to actions/conclusions. Not all problems are solved overnight. Patience is extremely important. Treat kids with respect at all times. Give the kids the space they need. Hopefully, later, the kid will learn positive lessons from you and use these in their lives. The kids need to know to deal with the conflict and not just avoid it. Ask the kid what they think the proper solution is (let them take the lead). A little humor goes a long way and give the “once in a blue moon freebie” as well.

14. Travelling to different places really helps kids to see the world in a different way. This doesn’t have to be international (especially when it cannot be afforded), but the further away the better, it seems. Have the kid write a travel journal/blog/photolog, etc. to keep record of the places. Do some research beforehand to learn about the places. Don’t waste time on meaningless tourist stops. Even local state capitols and areas have historical museums and other such things that can really add value.

15. Be respectful of the surrounding community and all public places. Don’t climb on everything/run around/act like wild animals, etc. Respect people of all backgrounds. When the kid asks why is that person different, respond with I don’t know, and try to change the conversation (eventually explain that everyone is different – value the diversity). Take part in various cultural celebrations. Let the kids know who the mayor and other political leaders are. Having a kid volunteer in different events can show that we are not superior to others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Keats
  • Columbus
  • 10-28-16

Brilliant guide for raising children!

This is actually a first for me in the non-fiction category, and it is certainly not the sort of thing I plan to listen to one time and then just put aside. There is so much useful advice packed in here that it actually sort of overwhelmed me the first time through, and now I'm working on listening to it again.

I don't have children (yet!) but it still made me think back to all of the things my parents did to raise me and my brother and gave me a better insight about their actions, intentional or unintentional, and the effects they had on us.

I consider myself to be a life-long learner, so that was one message I truly appreciated in the book, because I think it is important for everyone!

This was an excellent thing to listen to, and I will doubtless go back to it again and again for advice for making my children more culturally aware and interested. If you have kids, no matter the age, you should check this out! The narrator was amazing and the content engaging. Easy 5-star!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book about Etiquette for Modern Times

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, For some of my Mom friend's with young men. To teach manners in a way that applies to them specifically.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Overall all the tips in the book were very informative, well described and applicable.

Have you listened to any of Madonna Lucey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't. She has a very precise and soothing voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This is something that if you start with young kids will follow them into adulthood:

"Getting your child involved in the community has many benefits. It will help him to become knowledgeable about local culture and customs, and it will keep him up on current events in the area as well. It also allows him to personal bonds with the people in his environment. There are many ways to get your child involved. Fairs, festivals and community performances are some of the many events in which he can participate."

Social and community involvement are something lacking in our strictly online society today. I am glad the author added this to the book.

Any additional comments?

Each chapter starts with a quote and I like that it sets the tone for the next reading parts.The tips and descriptions of etiquette and teaching young children are easy to comprehend.I enjoyed this audio book very much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great book for raising your children!

This is the first non-fiction book I've listened to on audible, and the first how-to books I've read that didn't have to do with authors or writing books. This was a great book, with the advice it gives that can be really good for raising kids! The person reading the book was fantastic as well, and overall it was a great performance and story!

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Great refresher for myself and my kids

I really enjoyed this book. I think good manners and sophistication are becoming a lost art. So many people aren't even taught manners anymore and are at a loss when they want to instill them in their children. More than manners, this book teaches sophistication. My only complaint is that so many of the suggestions for bringing up sophisticated children require that you have more money than most people - for example, taking your children to bespoke clothing stores. I can't afford that for myself, much less for my children who grow into a bigger size every year. Other than that, I really liked the book. Though I was raised with manners, I've become lazy and sloppy as time has gone on and the stresses of my day catch up to me. I'm really excited to start training my children, as well as having the review for myself.

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Terrific book!

What did you love best about Beyond Good Manners?

Great book that applies to kids of all ages! It is a great guide for parents looking to teach their children etiquettes, manners and respect for others by offering tips and lessons on how to raise a considerate, independent, and polite child.

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Gain enthusiasm & ideas for expanding your child

This well written resource uses graceful prose and a positive voice to comprehensively cover a full range of topics related to etiquette. And it actually moves beyond standard etiquette like table manners to include an expansive scope of useful areas like making conversation, how to dress and even traveling and social media.

Each chapter covers a different topic and addresses that topic for a variety of child ages. Within the chapter, a plethora of creative ideas for activities fitting each age is suggested. Wonderful, original tasks and tools are put forth, interwoven in the pages.

I liked the use of a quote to setup each chapter. And the author provides many ideas, followed by actual examples to better illustrate her point. I think the book would be improved in practicality by organizing the content within chapters by age a bit more and providing subheadings that lead you to the age-specific areas.

Because it was so content heavy, it was a book that I needed to listen to in more than one sitting. But the narrator was perfect for the subject matter. Her voice was kind and very pleasant, making it easy to take in much information.

This thoughtful and enjoyable book offers great value but it is not for everyone as it makes the assumption that parents have significant amounts of time and means to spend on their children. But if you are fortunate enough to fall into this category, this book will leave you with a renewed interest to expand your child’s upbringing and a surplus of creative ideas to draw on.

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  • AEM
  • Missouri
  • 08-13-16

Wonderful book :)

Where does Beyond Good Manners rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

At the very top. It was well written and was enjoyable to listen to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Beyond Good Manners?

I don't think I could pick out just one thing. It was so well put together in terms of information and organization.

What about Madonna Lucey’s performance did you like?

I found her voice very soothing to listen to. It made taking in the information easy.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction just enjoyment.

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyed this and would recommend for anyone with children

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  • northerner
  • 08-19-16

Excellent advice and ideas for parents

Would you consider the audio edition of Beyond Good Manners to be better than the print version?

Although the narrator is American, this was no problem and it is beautifully read. I haven't read the print version, but I did feel the narrator enhanced the reading experience, especially as this book is very well written in the first place.

Any additional comments?

I felt the first chapters offered sound and timeless advice on good manners and social behaviour to parents. The later chapters teemed with ideas on encouraging a child's interest in things such as reading, fashion, the arts and cooking. There are so many ideas that even the most dedicated parent would be unable to carry out them all, but each chapter provides a rich resource from which a parent can choose those ideas which seem most appropriate and practical for him/her and their child.
This book provides an excellent guide for bringing up children, while reminding us all that the values which make a civilised society are timeless. I think it would appeal to many general readers as well as parents.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-16

must read

like the title suggests, this is beyond teaching a child good manners. it offers a whole lot more. everyone, parent or not, should give it a listen.

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