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“The Charming Child”

“The Charming Child”

As doting parents, most of us would likely say that our children are oh-so-charming.  We often view their little missteps as endearing and their repetitive sassing as traits that will work themselves out over time.  And, we naturally assume that everyone else views our offspring in the same “cute” light.  However, if we gave a truth serum to our best friend or to our sister-in-law or to the empty nester across the street, we might be surprised to learn that our children are thought of as anything but charming!

Granted, daily mistakes and consistent oversights are all part of any child’s growth process, and parents or neighbors would be showing insensitivity if they were quick to anger at little Johnny’s lack of knowledge.  Rather, each slip-up should hopefully be seen as a teachable moment, and responsible, caring adults should always take that opportunity to lovingly correct.  Appropriate greetings, a proper handshake, demonstrating tact and consistent table manners are extremely vital to learn as well but don’t necessarily always come up in conversation since they tend to be viewed as more formal.  As parents, we must ensure that all aspects of etiquette are being gleaned by our children so that they are fully equipped to stand out in a crowd and display confidence and ease in all environments.  Therefore, it would be wise to invest in proper etiquette training for our children (and maybe even for ourselves, as adults) just as we spend our resources on piano lessons, soccer leagues, golf equipment and ballet shoes.

In addition to the day-to-day guidance that hopefully takes place at home, children often learn best through games and role-play where they can interact with their peers.  We find that most absorb concepts when presented in a light, fun atmosphere that encourages curiosity, zaniness, imagination, physicality and, of course, good behavior.  So, it’s best to seek out instructional classes where children are trained to demonstrate good manners, respect others and live lives of integrity right along with other children just as they would in Tae Kwon Do or Cheerleading.   The gift of manners could very well be the greatest gift you ever give!

Today’s Mannerly Moment:  Tact is the ability to avoid giving offense to someone.  It’s an important skill to cultivate in which we’re always considering other people’s feelings.  Children consistently need to be encouraged to be tactful.  When they find themselves in a situation where ‘the truth’ might be hurtful, train them to switch their focus onto something POSITIVE about the situation.  Instead of telling Sally that her mismatched outfit looks terrible, one should focus on the beautiful, bright bow in Sally’s hair or on her fancy shoes. Be certain to reiterate this concept with your children on a regular basis, and practice displaying tact with regard to your husband’s latest grilling debacle, too!

Extending Grace, ~~*jacquelyn*~~

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