So, how did the game come into being ? Roz Heintzman, a woman from Toronto observed one night in early 2004 when she was at her friend Gillian Deacon’s house for a dinner that her friend has a unique way of teaching her children manners – in which she asks her kids to take manners out of an envelope and follow them, one for each night. This observation led to the inspiration for MannerIsms. Roz Heintzman alongwith entrepreneur Carolyn Hynland (also from Toronto), started looking to fill a gap in the market for all things relating to manners – specifically manners and children. After some informal market research, a business plan was formulated and, with the help of friends and family, the game MannerIsms came to life.
How is the game played ? One box of MannerIsms comes with twenty-five cards, each bearing one code of conduct. Each is sweet, lyrical, and easy to remember, such as “Food to mouth, not mouth to food. In this way, you won’t seem rude.”. Another is "Mabel, Mabel if you're able, keep your elbows off the table!". It is played over a series of nights and each night, children in your family draw a new card from the stack and spend the meal perfecting it. Depending on the age and number of children playing, MannerIsms provides several options for rewarding good manners. And you can further tailor the game to your family.
In the game, suppose your kid(s) are motivated by reward, try affixing stickers to the manners cards successfully accomplished. If your children like competition between them, you can devise rewards, like having the child who most often used that night's manner pick the card for the next night. You can also play cumulatively, having your child(ren) keep watch for previous night's manners and keeping score on a sheet of paper.
The game takes the nagging out of teaching table manners. It's also a reminder to parents to check their own behaviour. Some women admit to buying the game as much for their husbands. Its quite enjoyable for kids too to catch their parents in a mistake.
The game creation team always strives to improve it by accepting suggestions such as if there are other manners that people would like to see included, or if your family has come up with a new way of scoring or tracking your childrens' progress.
MannerIsms was developed by parents and kids, for parents and kids. The next time you are at the dinner table with your family or friends, you may contemplate trying out this amazing, educative and fun game.