Many feel that they have not provided proper parenting; they feel guilt, failure, embarrassment and frustration. We disagree.
Parents today are facing an uphill climb. Peer group pressure is overpowering. Children are exposed to situations, videos, electronic games, social media sites that many parents have never heard of. Children say that it is “socially acceptable” to tune out the real world, that their parents come from a dinosaur generation, and that the world has changed since they were children. That may be partially true, but mostly it is wrong.
Yes things have changed, but not for the better. Too often we find our children glued to a phone, texting who knows who and addicted to social media which in many cases has become their accepted form of communication and news.
Take a minute to review an article we published in July 2017 Majority of Americans Believe That Civility Is on the Decline. “Americans consider the general tone and level of civility in the country today to be a problem, with approximately two-thirds believing it is a “major” problem (65%).
Of course, every generation considers itself unique, we did, and they do too. However the childhood many of us as parents remember was not cluttered with electronic devices. We spent the majority of our time outdoors. You came home when the sun set. We rode bikes, roller skated, joined the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, we performed hilarious contortions with our hula hoops, played hide and seek, rover red rover, built forts, fished in streams, waded in the marshes searching for duck eggs. On weekends we sailed, went to the beach or lake and if we did not have that we found 1,000 ways to keep ourselves busy.
In short, we communicated, face to face. If we had a problem with another kid, we settled it, face to face. We did not turn to an app to vent frustrations or to belittle someone.
Many of us did not face the safety issues children are exposed to today, much of that coming from a declining value system and the perceived anonymity of social media. Our school doors were not locked, we respected “feared” the school principal. We treated our teachers and police officers with respect. I remember our police officer crossing guard with admiration.
Poor manners and social awkwardness is not completely parents’ fault. Today many families have both parents working many hours a week. We fear letting our children outside.
Etiquette training is much more than just learning basic manners. Proper etiquette training can actually have a profound impact on both social and business life. We believe that you are never too young or too old to reap the huge benefits of training.
Whether we like it or not, people are watching to see how we handle ourselves in any business or social situation. Proper etiquette skills are needed at virtually every step in life. Acceptance into a particular school or club, getting a desired promotion, successful business networking, meeting new friends, closing a business deal, dining with the boss, attending a formal function. The list is long.
We suggest that you enroll in a training class; the benefits can be life changing.
Steve & Marcy Breault
Certified Etiquette Consultants