Yesterday was a State Holiday. Kids were out of school and guess what? My “Manners are Cool” etiquette class was filled. Actually, the date was reserved by parents a month ago.
It’s been happening that way for 20 years now, ever since I started offering Children’s Etiquette and Social Skills training at Lisa Rose. Whenever the kids are out of school for a holiday, on weekends, and during the summer months, these classes are filled as soon as I advertise them through my newsletter. It doesn’t cost a penny and I am able to charge $60 per child for a class of 10 kids.
So, for 3 hours we had a good time teaching and learning that Manners are Cool. It is OK to address peers and adults politely and make eye contact, to look, listen, and learn how to behave at the dinner table and in your classroom, to say please and thank you, and well… you get the idea.
At the end, since this was all little girls today, we had a little Tea Party which they’ve been so patiently looking forward to. That’s another thing we teach, the virtue of patience.
On top of being paid well to do something I thoroughly enjoy which is to encourage positive behavior and help set young kids on the path to having success in life, one of the kids’ mom is the editor of the big local newspaper in town. It was her third time at Lisa Rose. So, you never know, maybe an added benefit will be some positive publicity, free of charge. You can never have enough of that!
All in all, it was a beautiful day in paradise. I schedule the classes in the morning so that by right after lunch everyone has the rest of the day to enjoy. Not too shabby, wouldn’t you agree?
It got me thinking too. Maybe it’s time to offer an intermediate level class to help kids not only survive but excel despite the social turmoil of middle school. Positive guidance from the outside would serve them well, not to mention their parents and teachers.
This will involve a step beyond manners and basic training on how to interact with others. It may not prevent kids from being elbowed to the sidelines by fickle friends or being the subject of gossip, however, learning how to see things from the other side and not simply their own point of view will help them to give others the benefit of the doubt and keep the drama to a minimum.
It won’t solve all the problems one encounters in middle school, but if a few hours of learning the art of give and take results in someone being more inclined to be kind, then it is absolutely a good idea.
I think I’ll do it
This was a typical day in the life of a Princess Tea Party and Children’s Etiquette business owner.
What my students don’t catch on to is that it’s really me who gets to wear the glass slipper.