We have all been there. Perhaps it was when you watched in horror, as a date slurped soup from the spoon that was held in a manner similar to Beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Maybe it was the way that a friend ordered the server around at brunch with such disdain that you knew your pancakes were going to have a little bit of the "special sauce." Or how about the child that walked up to your table and took a French fry? Those instances might seem trite, but they all indicate the decline of social graces. Watching that child take what was not rightfully his (or hers!) without any sort of consequence demonstrates the imperative need to return social skills to modern society.
On January 12,2009, Perri Klass had an article published in The New York Times that discussed the need to instill social skills into [your] children. "Making Room for Miss Manners Is a Parenting Basic" made a case for teaching children manners because it is what will ensure their success later in life. Completely agreeing with the doctors' assessment of a child in the examining room: the behavior that is displayed there is a microcosm and a precursor of what is to come...
Early childhood is the optimal time to educate young children, as their minds are like sponges. Learned behaviors become innate, so it is imperative to teach them social skills at such an impressionable stage. Enter EtiKids: the program presents a foundation of necessary life skills, which incorporate cognitive, social, emotional and physical domains. Children will use the senses of touch, smell, sight and sound to understand and manipulate their environment- a tall order for such little people. It has been working though. Parents have reported that their children are now correcting them; ensuring that mouths are closed while chewing and "pleases and thank yous,” said. Rest assured that these kids would not eat the French fries off of my plate! And of course their parents will ask me politely, rather than demand my assistance.
Julie Blacker is the director and owner of EtiKids, a program that teachers social skills and school skills to children in a fun and developmentally appropriate manner. Visit www.etikids.com for more information.