“Contrary to what many people think, intelligence is a poor predictor of personal, academic and professional success. Emotional IQ is where it’s at!”
The Fine Art of Etiquette
By Tracy Lamperti,
Psychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
Photography by Kelly Cronin Photography, at Chatham Bars Inn,
June 7th, 2014
The benefits of teaching young people manners and etiquette are seen at home, in the community and in the classroom. There is such enormous pressure, pretty much from when the child is in the womb, to begin stimulating their brain. It is all well intended. We want our children to be smart and successful. I’m sure “smart” and “successful” are equated with happiness. From headphones channeling classical music through the belly, to Little Einstein videos for our pre-talkers, to interactive electronic games with bells and whistles for our toddlers, to ipads for all ages, we are trying to pave the way for our children to a successful future.
I’m not criticizing or saying these things are bad or even unnecessary. Look at me here. I’m barely out of my first trimester and I’m infusing my little one with Mozart!
But more and more, our children are entering preschool lacking the skills of “please and thank you.” We, as a culture have normalized this by saying that this milestone comes later, AFTER they have experienced the social world of preschool. Somehow they move on to kindergarten with much of their alphabet under their belt, but still no “P’s and T’s” without being prompted.
Aside from the fact that it is just refreshing to be with a happy, polite child (even if they don’t know the whole alphabet or how to count to 100), there are good reasons to undertake a diligent effort to teach our children these skills of social grace, equal to, or greater than the efforts that are going into academic knowledge.
· Proper behavior, manners and knowing how to present oneself are the backbone for confidence, self-respect and respect for others.
· Contrary to what many people think, intelligence is a poor predictor of personal, academic and professional success. Emotional IQ is where it’s at!
· Harvard University Stanford Research Institute, and Carnegie Foundation found that 85% of our career success depends on social skills.
· 43% of teachers in public schools spend more time dealing with behavioral issues than they do teaching. (April 2003, Public Agenda)
· In an ABC News Poll in 1999, 85% of respondents felt that the world would be a better place if we just said “please” and “thank you” more often.
· Someday, everyone is going to be at a school dance, banquet, dinner, church service like a wedding or a funeral, on a date, invited to the girl/boyfriend’s parent’s house for dinner. In my experience, people are often reluctant to go to special events, or suffer unnecessary levels of anxiety because of not being sure about how to act or what to do.
Studies also show that children are more receptive to instruction and direction on issues of manners and etiquette from non-family members in a learning setting.
It was such a wonderful experience teaching this group of nine girls and enjoying our last meeting at Chatham Bars Inn. To see these young ladies practicing their newly learned skills in such a beautiful environment was an experience for all of us!
I have heard the request for a boy’s class and there is one in the works. I look forward to teaching many more young people these valuable skills that they will carry with them wherever they go.
Check in on next week’s blog post for a link to new classes, beginning in September!
Put manners together with confidence and our young people are going to be winners and leaders!
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Psychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
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