It’s ‘Back To School’ time and Etiquette Consultant Maria Doll is our guest blogger this week! All of Maria’s information and contact information can be found below her article. I hope you enjoy her post. ~Sheri
We all want our children to be successful especially in the area of academics. This opens more doors to post-secondary opportunities and future career posts. However, there are other areas of children’s formation towards adulthood that shouldn’t be ignored. We can’t assume that they’ll acquire this by osmosis and if truth be told, we may need constant reminders, too. Don’t forget…parents are raising adults, ultimately!
The sooner our children understand the importance of doing their work well and completely will pay off in dividends as they mature. I use the phrase “Obey without Delay” to teach this concept. Parents don’t want to endlessly nag about chores, music practice, and homework. Like Nike says, “Just do it”…doing it to the best of their abilities.
Art of Conversation
Another area of importance is having the confidence to begin a conversation with someone our children have just met. This could be the first meeting in September with their new teacher, coach or music/dance teacher. Parents can use meal time to teach this skill. The ubiquitous smartphone should be invisible to aid in the instruction. I recommend having little conversation starters planned out ahead of time to begin. Ask the children for topics that they would like to discuss, too. Even encourage the children to chat with parents who are driving them home from practice instead of just ignoring them. The children will become well-mannered communicators impressing the adults in their lives.
Many people complain that youth today act from the position of entitlement. This may be true for some but not all. The ones who don’t suffer from this are those who learned how to delay gratification as children. They got used to hearing the word NO to the newest gadgets or gimmicks. If they wanted a new bike, for example, then a work & payment schedule was put together. They understood the value of money and the sense of accomplishment reaching their goal. These young people also learned early on that failure can bring about great learning and shouldn’t be considered a dismal experience to endure.
If parents want to encourage leadership habits in their children, then they need to begin in earnest modeling the virtue of empathy. Putting themselves in the “shoes” of fellow classmates who may be dealing with personal battles will help to make those students feel accepted. Children learn the importance of making everyone feel welcomed and respected because of our common humanity. Fellow teammates can benefit, too. A smile, a kind word goes a long way to create a culture of happiness for everyone.
Importance of serving others
Children aren’t consumers but rather should be contributors to society. This is accomplished by encouraging acts of service towards others. For example, a lemonade stand with the proceeds going to a special charity. Or helping an aged grandparent do some light housecleaning. Preparing a meal for a neighbor who recently came out of the hospital. These simple acts of charity form children to become other-centred instead of self-centred.
Being a parent is doubtless one of the toughest jobs there is to accomplish well. The requirements can seem daunting to the faint of heart. But if parents keep the “big picture” in mind that they are raising adults not children, then the odd skirmish that goes awry won’t be of much consequence. And in the end, it’s all worth the effort, isn’t it?
Maria is an Etiquette Consultant trained by The Society of Etiquette Trainers. Maria offers courses and workshops for children, youth, and young professionals. Maria and her Etiquette Program has been featured in Global Calgary TV, CTV, CBC Television, The Calgary Sun, The Calgary Herald, Metro News, CBC Radio and 106.7 FM. Maria decided to expand her knowledge base by becoming a Style consultant helping young university/college female grads and other women to understand the ABC’s of image – appearance, behavior, communication. She received her training from Mary Sheehan Warren, co-founder of Elegance in Style. You can connect with Maria here: