What happens when we are the one who makes a mistake? For instance; when we accidentally bump into someone or worse yet, spill something on someone. The polite response is of course, “I’m sorry that I bumped into you. Are you O.K.?” or “I’m so sorry I spilt that on you. May I offer to have your slacks cleaned? I insist.” A quick, polite, sincere apology is usually all it takes to restore someone and “make peace” between you. What’s not polite? It’s not polite to blame others for our mistakes or to make excuses for them either. Children tend to be “master minds” at this. Don’t you wish they could put that much thought and effort into their behavior rather than excuses for their behavior? Regardless, we as parents and educators must not allow our children to develop these impolite habits. Taking responsibility for our own actions is the first step in becoming responsible trustworthy adults.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit that we have made a mistake. It can be embarrassing. Many children and even some adults believe that blaming others or making excuses; help make the embarrassment go away. As we remind our children of the definition of proper etiquette, “to help others feel comfortable and valued”, we encourage them to measure this definition against their behavior. Doing this consistently, will help train your children to ask themselves, “How does my behavior affect others?” and hopefully this will grow into a greater awareness of those around them.
Have another great week,
CEO/The Etiquette Factory