Restore Civility to Home Training!

CIVILITY COUNTS! During the 32 years I taught vocational students, I can honestly say, I invested the greatest effort impressing the importance of civility upon them.

Very few…very few students demonstrated good manners when they first stepped foot in my classroom.

 It’s true: Polite and considerate teenagers are a rare site. Too often, teens feel polite manners will be viewed as a sign of weakness amongst their high school peers, yet in the business world, CIVILITY IS A CRITICAL LIFE SKILL!!! It was my duty to teach it.

DISPLAYING GOOD MANNERS IS NOT A WEAKNESS. IT SHOWS STRENGHT and GOOD LEADERSHIP SKILLS.  A LACK OF CIVILTY CAN RUIN GOOD RELATIONS AT HOME, SCHOOL, OR AT THE WORKSITE!

During my years at the corporate  level of the fashion industry, I interviewed job applicants of all ages, from teens to mature adults. I can attest to this: being able to demonstrate attentive listening skills, two-way verbal communication and good manners is essential for business success.

Here is how I went about teaching civility:

THE VERY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, I FEARLESSLY explained my expectations for classroom civility.  I communicated the rules clearly and consistently reinforced them.

 I explained to my students that as teenagers, they would soon be interviewing and competing for jobs, in the real world, with adults! I also told them that adults will go out of their way to help a polite teenager. The proof was in the pudding. When my students started practicing good manners, they noticed adults were more polite toward them! My students noticed they were offered more opportunities and received better customer service.  Some of my students also mentioned that their parents were suspicious at first—these good manners must mean the teens were up to no good— or they were going to hit their parents up for money!  These exchanges made for great teachable moments.

 In no time at all, civility was the norm in my classroom. There was no gossiping or whining and complaining.  What is more, students were happy and productive. They felt safe in my classroom. When civility is the norm, everyone feels more comfortable.

Parents and teachers, I encourage you to invest the time and energy to teach kids that Civility Counts!

 Spend family time demonstrating handshakes and polite greetings. Saying please and thank you are so important. You can ask your children mock interview questions for fun and practice.  Share examples of how being courteous paid off for you.  Also share examples of how rudeness cost you or a family member a good opportunity.

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