'IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Simple Parent Tips - Parenting, Etiquette, Schools: 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Etiquette Tips – Cell Phone Etiquette

Cell Phone Etiquette

Cell phone etiquette has been a popular topic lately. Yet, some people continue to have bad manners when it comes to talking on their cell phone.

I was standing in a Starbucks line recently thinking about my order, a green tea latte and maybe an iced scone to go with the latte. The young woman in front of me had her cell phone glued to her ear. She had been talking since entering the store. Even when it was her turn to order, she continued to talk while she somehow or other, maybe with hand signals, gave her order. She totally ignored the person serving her. No smile or, “How are you today?” It was as if there was no one else there, just her cell phone and her conversation.

How impolite.
How rude.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Etiquette Tips – Etiquette Boo-Boos

Etiquette Boo-Boos

I am sure that most of you and your children have excellent manners -- then there are those who do not.

Here are the Top 3 Etiquette Boo-Boos that really bug me:

Men who wear hats in restaurants
The other evening my husband and I were dining out. At the table next to us was a family group having a birthday celebration. There was a grandmother, grandfather, mom, dad and two darling girls. One, obviously the birthday girl, was wearing a “birthday cake” hat. That’s okay and lots of fun. The dad was wearing a ball cap, and that is not okay.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Etiquette Tips - Cyberspace Etiquette

Cyberspace Etiquette

Even though internet etiquette can be complicated, the old rules of etiquette still apply.

Courtesy always means being considerate of others. Making others feel comfortable is the basis of all kinds of etiquette, be it table manners or the internet.

It is easy to be rude on the internet because the internet allows you to be anonymous, unlike sitting across the table from someone who is slurping their soup. Unfortunately, some teenagers try to take advantage of this and behave poorly. They think nothing of lying, harassing or boring others. Teens need to understand that people can be hurt by an email or chat room discussion that is hateful.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Etiquette Tips - Body Language

Communication and Body Language

You can tell a lot about a person by watching his or her body language. (Just watch your teenager or his friends.) A person can send you a signal without even talking to you. Body Language is nothing more than nonverbal communication or nonverbal signaling.

Most teens are unaware of the effect of their body language on the people they are talking with, discussing proper body language an excellent topic to discuss with your teen.

Below are several suggestions for the discussion:

Bodily movements, gestures, eye contact and facial expressions are things to watch for in trying to read body language. A smile can easily be read. A smile can tell you a person is friendly, but too many smiles tend to appear that a person may be hiding something.

Looking away while you are talking, playing with an ear and scratching a chin are all clues that the person is not paying attention, or has a different agenda.

Crossing the arms is one of the most powerful body language signals you can get – or give. It indicates a defensive or hostile attitude.

Many businesses use experts in body language to translate what a person in an interview is really thinking. Lawyers in courtroom settings also often use body language experts.

Understanding body language can be a useful tool, whether you are a parent talking to your child, or a child interacting with other friends or adults. Appropriate body language helps make a first good impression.

Read more posts about Etiquette:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Etiquette Tips - How to Shake Hands

6 Tips for Shaking Hands

I’ve always felt it is important to teach children to shake hands and to introduce themselves. I can’t tell you how many young adults I’ve met who had not mastered the art of shaking hands. It’s such a simple skill and one that is not always taught in the home. Take a moment this week and teach your children how to shake hands.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

National Flag Day Websites, Activities and Books

June 14 is National Flag Day. National Flag Day was first established in 1916 by a presidential proclamation from President Woodrow Wilson. Why did he choose June 14, simply because the United States flag was born on June 14, 1777. Our flag has 13 horizontal red and white stripes and 50 stars, which represent the 50 states.

Recommended Websites National Flag Day:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Activities for Teenagers

We are now in the middle of summer vacation. What has your teenager been doing?
  • Sleeping until noon?
  •  On Facebook, the computer or video games all day?
  • Hanging with friends?
  • On the phone or text messaging?
  •  Watching movies?

Summer is an opportune time for your teenager to learn or reinforce some great habits…

1. The value of goal setting and follow through – Have your teenager chose a goal or project to complete each day, a focus for each week and a theme for the summer. Help them to write realistic goals and then follow through to be sure your teenager completes the goal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Simple Etiquette Tips for Teenagers

10 simple etiquette tips for teenagers:

  1. Remove your baseball cap or hat when entering a house, restaurant or business, especially when sitting down to a meal.
  2. Write thank you notes. A simple handwritten note works best, no email, texting or tweeting your thanks.
  3. Keep your elbows off the table.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

12 Summer Reading and Writing Activities

With the school year over, it’s time to focus on strengthening the academic gains that your child achieved during the year. Summer is the perfect time for reinforcing and expanding those academic gains. Spending time reading and writing during the summer builds good vocabulary, encourages creative writing and develops comprehension skills. 

Be sure that you and your child spend at least 30 minutes each day reading.

Here are 12 excellent reading and writing activities that you can do during the summer:

1.  Visit the library – Make visiting the library a weekly event. Allow your children to get their own library card.

2.  Read a poem – Choose a poem and read it with your child, discussing how the poem rhymes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Activities for Kids

If you are like our family, Memorial Day weekend was spent relaxing, enjoying family, barbequing, playing cards and going to the movies. Memorial Day weekend has become a three-day celebration of the start of summer. However, I believe it is important for children, and especially teenagers, to understand the true meaning of why we commemorate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who gave their lives to serve our country and keep us safe.

If you spent your weekend enjoying family activities, than you might want to spend this week educating your children on the true meaning of Memorial Day. These activities would make a great start to an educational summer:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The ABC’s of Parenting: Attitude


“There's very little difference in people.
But that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The BIG DIFFERENCE is whether it is positive or negative.”
W. Clement Stone

During the first year that I was Principal, I learned very quickly that my attitude not only made a difference in my day, but that of the teachers and students at the school. I read this great quote that first year, “When the Principal sneezes, everyone catches a cold.” I’m not sure who said it, but I think it is a great quote and one that works just as well for parents.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Graduation Etiquette

Graduation Etiquette Tips

During the month of May many schools hold graduation ceremonies, from high school and college graduations to eighth grade and kindergarten graduations. As a school administrator, I have spent the last 14 years guiding students, teachers and parents through the graduation process. Along the way, I have learned a few etiquette tips and tricks; and a few etiquette boo-boo’s. Graduation is a very important event in every child’s life. To make your child’s graduation experience memorable, it is important that both you and your child understand correct graduation etiquette.

Here are 7 graduation etiquette tips:
ü  If you receive an announcement or invitation to graduation, it is polite to RSVP that you are or are not attending. This allows the parents of the graduate to save seats for you at the ceremony. If there is a party planned later, the parents need to know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get Caught Reading Month

May is Get Caught Reading Month

Spending time reading with your child is one of the most important things you can do as a family. Besides the fact that you are reinforcing reading and building reading skills, spending time reading gives you valuable one-to-one time with your child.

I am talking about actually reading together.  I was sitting in a restaurant the other day with my husband, when I looked over and noticed a father and son sitting at a table close by. They were both reading…however, they were both reading their own I-Pads, separately. There was no interaction or conversation going on between the two. That is not what I call reading together.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What does RSVP mean?

Simple Parent Tips – The Meaning of RSVP

Last week I received an invitation through the mail to a retirement party for a friend. At the end of the invitation was printed, “Please RSVP with the number attending by May 16.” In this day of email invitations, the use of RSVP is seen less and less. However, I think it is important for children and teenagers to understand the etiquette and meaning behind RSVP.

RSVP, which is French, translates to repondez s’il vous plait or in plain old English, please let me know if you are coming.

Responding to RSVP is a simple courtesy often forgotten. Most of the time you can respond to an RSVP request through a phone call or email. However, with formal invitations, such as weddings, the response is generally in the form of a response card.

When you take the time to tell the host you are coming, you give her the opportunity to plan the event much more easily and efficiently. Informing the host allows her to accurately plan for the type and amount of food, and for the number of chairs and tables to provide.

Next time you or your child receives an invitation take a moment to respond to the RSVP. Your host will be pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

National Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers are some of the hardest working people I know. As a teacher myself, in years past, I am very aware of all of the additional preparation and work that goes on during the weekends, summers and in the evenings.

Many people think teachers have an easy job. They say teachers have summers off, all the major holidays off, fall break, spring break and Christmas break. However, what no one realizes is that for many teachers that time is spent in preparation for the upcoming semester or school year.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prayer Begins at Home

In honor of the National Day of Prayer, May 3, 2012, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about prayer in the home. During the years our boys were growing up, we always made time for prayer in our home. Prayer was and is an integral part of our family and life. No matter what your religious beliefs, I believe teaching the power of prayer to children is time well spent.

Here are a couple of suggestions for teaching prayer in the home:
1.      Make prayer a regular occurrence in your home; upon awaking, before bed and at each meal.
2.      Demonstrate prayer through your own actions; have your children observe you in prayer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Teach Courtesy

Courtesy Begins at Home

Do you ever wonder why some kids are polite and kind, and other kids are rude and constantly misbehaving?

I believe teaching courtesy, etiquette and polite behavior begins at home. The dictionary defines courtesy as, “polite and considerate behavior.” Children learn many things through observation, both good and bad. One of the best ways to teach courtesy is by demonstrating courteous and considerate behavior in your home. Here are 9 simple tips for developing courtesy in children and teens:

1.      Say please and thank you
2.      Hold the door open for elders and women

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Parenting Teenagers - Dating Tips

I was visiting with a friend who has two teenage daughters and we started talking about dating - when, where and how. Here is the advice I gave her:

  •  It’s important for teenagers to interact socially with friends, not just on facebook or texting. However, where, when and how that social interaction happens needs to be monitored by the parents. 
  • Going to the mall is fine, but put a time limit on the trip and have regular check in times. Know exactly which friends your daughter or son is going to mall with.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Tips for Parents

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Here are some Valentine tips and trivia you may not know:
  •    Approximately 1 billion Valentine cards are sent each year.
  •  Teachers receive the most Valentine cards, followed by children, mothers, wives and sweethearts.

Valentine Etiquette and Tips for Parents:
  • Since teachers receive the most Valentine’s cards, be sure the Valentine card your child gives to his or her teacher is appropriate and kind. 
  • It’s always best to have your child bring a Valentine card for every student in the class. Leaving someone out can be hurtful, especially for younger children.