By: Laura Pulido, CEO and Jocelyn Woo, CCO.
Recently, someone posed the question, “How have manners changed for the 21st century?” The very core and essence of manners has not changed. It is still about respecting others and yourself versus a rigid set of rules as most believe. What has changed is the environment. With the introduction of new technologies, we have drifted away from the face-to-face interaction that fosters healthy, respectful relationships. Most of our conversations these days take place on Facebook or text messages. This poses a challenge in interpreting comments because that person isn’t right there for us to observe verbal and non-verbal cues. How can we respect others both online and offline? We have outlined the following Five GIRLS Manners to help your daughter and technology co-exist in harmony without compromising her manners.
G – Give Your Full Attention - Has you daughter ever witnessed you talking on the phone while checking email? Don’t worry – we have all been guilty of it. What are we modeling? The next time you have the privilege of dining out with your daughter, don’t allow technology to interrupt the valuable face-to-face time. They are keenly aware of your obsessive need to keep checking text messages or emails instead of giving them your full attention. It sends the message that this little mobile device is more important than they are. Instead, make direct eye contact, show a sincere interest in their topics, and actively engage in the conversation. You would hate to know that later in life they lost the potential romance with the eco-friendly, Prius driving, Prince Charming simply because they did not understand the importance of giving others your full attention.
I – Introduce yourself and others – Remember when you were younger, your mother would make you stand when she was introducing you to someone? You can almost imagine her nudging you to smile, make direct eye contact, say “hello”, and give a firm handshake. We refer to them as the FAB FIVE: Stand, smile, sight, shake and speak. They are the same today – but wait! I just realized that today it is the SUPER SIX: First put the mobile device down, then stand, smile, sight, shake and speak. Make a conscious effort to demonstrate these SUPER SIX for your daughter – even take a moment or two and let her practice with you. It’s worth it when she is well-known by her peers for having the rare ability to make others feel comfortable in new situations.
R – Respond respectfully – The first time your daughter looks at you, bobbles her head back and forth, and says “whatever” is the day you are challenged to practice the virtue of patience. Immediately, you find yourself thinking: “What has happened to my little princess?!?” She knows to say “please” and “thank you.” Although they still can experience a slight run with rebellion (and they will at times), they will notice how you respond. Patiently reel them back to the good side by responding to them with your own respectful “please” and “thank you.” Don’t sweat it, it’s all part of the process – it will eventually register with them.
L – Listen to Learn – “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is Habit #5 of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. Let’s face it – as females we have been gifted with the ability to carry on conversations for hours with very few pauses for breathe. Observe how your daughter interacts with her friends. Does she give others a chance to share their thoughts or is her nickname “Chatty Cathy”? Is she demanding? Wants to be right all the time? Are her friends energized or exhausted by her conversation? These are tough questions to answer honestly. If you witness any of these conversational red flags, set aside some one-on-one time with her. Point out the importance of making others feel great about themselves during a conversation. Share with her the value of open-ended questions, attentive listening, and caring about the other person’s interests. These are the foundations for lifelong BFF’s.
S – Select Carefully with Social Media - One of the most valuable lessons you can teach your daughter is that social media outlets are public forms of communication. Parents, teachers, friends, and coaches all have access to her profile. Your daughter’s profile picture should be tasteful and respectful. Now is not the time to visit the Macy’s makeup counter for all the free samples – at once. Her online habits should steer away from bashing those that have offended her, posting her exact whereabouts at any given time, going on tagging sprees without permission, and using CAPITAL LETTERS as if her keyboard’s Caps Lock was stuck.
About the Authors:
Laura Pulido, CEO and Jocelyn Woo, CCO of The Protocol Institute combine etiquette and technology to deliver eLearning courses for the iGeneration – accessible anywhere, anytime. Experience for yourself the rich interactivity of this engaging learning environment by downloading a free eLearning course, exclusive to ParentingPink.com members. Visit us at www.theprotocolinstitute.com, click on eLearning courses and use coupon code PINK01 at checkout for the Text Messaging and Mobile Phone Etiquette course. Coupon valid until August 15, 2010.
- Moms, Girls and Manners? We’ve got Resources for You!
- Well-Mannered Daughters Contribute to Working Mom’s Success
- Good Manners Start at HOME
- Are Your Daughters Being Cyberbullied?
- Are Advertisers Encouraging Sexting Among Teens?