Minding Their Manners

A new breed of etiquette classes for the generation of kids raised on Bart Simpson and Britney Spears

The toughest problem of Kevin Hatamiya's brief elementary school career doesn't involve arithmetic. It's his hair-trigger emotions. Whenever life throws the 7-year-old second-grader a setback, his short fuse ignites, and he yells at the top of his voice. His mother Michele thought manners lessons might teach him to cope better, so she paid $50 for three one-hour classes. "I'd like him to control himself more," says Michele, "not just with his temper but in lots of other ways."

Increasingly, it seems, the gray hairs that parents once got from fretting over why Johnny can't read are now just as likely to...

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