Perhaps I am just getting old. Maybe it's the new normal to arrive twenty minutes late, to arrange a meeting so you can spend its duration broadcasting to the world where your physical but not mental presence is and to never snail mail.
Being on all three sides of a guest list -- inviter, invited and uninvited -- can help children not only become more resilient, but also more conscientious and empathetic. It's up to parents to use parties as opportunities for chats about friendship, kindness, and etiquette.
While it's natural for parents to want to give their children everything, make sure that along with toys and praise, you give your children the regular reinforcement that makes thankfulness a part of who they are, not just something they do.
With the holiday season in full swing, many have calendars bursting with engagements -- from office, glögg and yuletide gatherings, to cookie exchanges, snow balls and other jolly paloozas. It's as good a time as any to review the etiquette of social intercourse.
The English are truly great at bringing up resilient, well-mannered, brave, and kind children. Too many parents -- in our own country and across the Western world -- have lost sight of what we've always done right.
You're a complex, intelligent individual who stands at the forefront of an extraordinary change in our civilization. You're in position as one of the constructors of our culture of the future. Congratulations, you're amazing. Now, please quit screwing it up.
What is this first name stuff and why does it bother me? I understand the whole "let's be friendly" movement. The problem comes when you recognize that giving one respect over another diminishes someone, and perhaps that's why we have a protocol called manners in the first place.
My daughter recently turned five, which makes me think now is the time to instill some serious values in her. Good etiquette has been thrown to the wayside, so here are the The Wordy Girl's Guide to Good Manners.
From Frances, I have learned that leadership is all about valuing relationships, about valuing people. Real etiquette is not about mindless or archaic ritual; it is about the quality and character of who we are. "Good manners" are the expression of genuine respect for others.
Maybe you don't or can't empathize with a generation of mentors, instructors, and potential employers who grew up writing (and expecting) thank you notes. If this is you, it is time to wake up. These little notes are expected and part of the professional world.
The 18th century British statesman Lord Chesterfield wrote that "manners must adorn knowledge, and smooth its way through the world." I doubt that there are many now who would understand what Chesterfield was even talking about.