Airport Courtesy: Not a contradiction in terms

Today’s struggling economy and constantly shifting world of work and social obligations has stress coming at us from every side. You’re bombarded by instant communication, accessible 24/7, and swamped with floods of information.

We know those around us appreciate kindness, but the impulse to be nice is often drowned out by the world’s insistent clamor for our attention. At the airport, stress reaches peak levels, and your ability to be kind may fade away.

After long lines, long waits, and long walks, you’re already mad. You have a chip on your shoulder. People you don’t know are treating you badly. And the people around you are sending out negative vibes, too.

Use these tips to keep you cool, calm, and collected under “severe airport conditions.”

The Great Wait

  • Be patient. Everyone has to wait.
  • Keep to the right on moving walkways, allowing people in a hurry to pass.
  • Be respectful of other people’s space when talking on the phone. Find an unpopulated spot, and speak with a normal tone of voice.
  • Take up no more than one-person’s worth of seats and floor space at your gate. If you must spread out, sit at a nearby empty gate.
  • To keep calm and collected, focus on something other than the aggravating environment of unexpected loud noises and public speakers, bad lighting, and the smell of food.
  • Try to keep a 2-foot cushion between you and the people around you. Much airport stress comes from having to stand and sit too close to strangers.
  • Find a quiet spot for some deep-breathing exercises.
  • Always bring distractions:
    • Books and magazines.
    • Sudoku, crossword, and word search puzzles.
    • A laptop or smart phone so you can catch up with friends.
    • A journal.
    • Music: headphones drown out a lot of unpleasant stimulation.
  • Keep track of your flight, yet avoid joining groups of folks complaining and harassing airline employees.

All Aboard

  • Watch where you are pushing, pulling, and swinging your bags.
  • If your flight is relatively short, try to use the bathroom before you board to avoid trips across the laps and feet of others.
  • Assist in getting bags in and out of overhead compartments, and be kind to a child or elderly person traveling alone. Such acts make you happy and are great at countering stress.
  • Make sure your light, air vent, and seatback are not infringing on others.
  • Respect your seatmates:
    • Avoid bringing aboard strong-smelling food.
    • Chat with folks who want to talk, not with the ones who’d rather have peace and quiet during the flight.
  • Let others trying to make connecting flights deplane first. It’s likely you’ll be in this situation yourself some day, and you’ll appreciate the gesture.

Even when using your best manners, staff can be rude and fellow travelers can be obnoxious. Do yourself a favor—remain calm, be kind, and arrive at your destination ready-to-go rather than frazzled.

Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, authors of “The Power of Nice,” write that “It is often the small kindnesses—smiles, gestures, compliments, favors—that make our day and can even change our lives. …”

For practical ways to offset stress, check out these websites:

“4 Ways to Deal with Stress,” the American Heart Association

“10 YOU Tips for Managing Stress,” by Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz”

“Study: Doing Good Makes You Feel Good,” LiveScience

Need some puzzles? Here are some online sources:


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Children’s Manners: Tips & Techniques

There are ways to make teaching manners easier for you and more fun for kids. Children love mnemonics, little tricks to help them remember their manners.

It can be daunting for youngsters and adults, too, sometimes, to remember how to set a table properly or to know which dishes, glasses, and utensils belong to whom. The following strategies just might save the day!

  • On the left (a word with four letters) of the dinner plate, is the fork (also four letters).
  • On the right (a word with five letters), goes the knife (also five letters), and the spoon (five letters!).
  • Flatware on the table appears in alphabetical order from left to right: fork, knife, spoon.
  • BMW. In this case, it’s not referring to a sporty German car, but rather Bread–Meal–Water. From left to right, that’s your place setting. The Bread plate is on the left, the Meal in the middle, and the Water glass on the right.
  • The OK tip: have your child make an OK sign with each hand–maybe discreetly, under the table.
    • The left hand is making a “b” and the right hand is making a “d.”
    • This means the bread plate is on the left, and the drinking glass on the right.

On the subject of bread plates: they are not just for bread. Show and tell your children this plate can also be considered the meal’s trash bin. That’s where you discreetly put olive pits, edamame pods, chicken bones, and other things you can’t swallow. This plate is used instead of spitting things on the floor, on your dinner plate, or into your napkin.

We all know children have a hard time sitting and waiting–whether it’s at the table when finished with their meal or at the doctor’s office. One way to help them gain patience and learn consideration for others is to try the 15-Minute Game.

  • Challenge your child to remain calm–without any squirms and moans–for 15 minutes, with the promise of a treat when they are successful.
  • As kids gain more patience, the 15-Minute Game can become the 30-Minute Game.
  • Reward them with something like a few stickers, a favorite dessert, or additional playtime.
  • You know your child better than anyone, and you’re the best judge of suitable goals and incentives for the best motivation and effectiveness.

Like all those table-setting mnemonics? Here are some helpful sites to visit for more information and examples:

“How to Set a Pretty Table,” from CNN:

“Table Place Setting Instructions,” from



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Learning our Manners

No one is born with good manners–we all need to learn them.

In the spirit of helping parents develop their children’s good manners, we offer a few thoughts, tips, and techniques. But before we do, we’d like to share what we believe are the basic principles of etiquette–the umbrella covering social graces, dining skills, and small talk.

Of course, it’s important for youngsters’ self-confidence and sense of control to understand how to conduct themselves properly in social situations–which glass to drink from, how to extend a firm handshake–everyday etiquette. The basis of good manners is treating others and oneself with respect, consideration, and kindness.

Three main principles guide us in teaching children good manners…

1. Kids learn best from their parents’ good example. (No surprise here.)

Children are always watching what their parents and other caregivers do and say. Teaching them about etiquette is not about impressing anyone. It’s about building their confidence, awareness, and consideration. Parents can demonstrate good manners all the time:

  • Greet people when they come to your home, and teach children to do the same.
  • Have kids help set the table at home, even on ordinary days, instead of standing by the dinner table while quickly grabbing something or eating on paper plates in front of the television.
  • Expect children to use magic words all the time. There are plenty of opportunities every day to say “please” and “thank you.
  • Maintain personal hygiene–yours and theirs.
  • Show how to give and accept apologies and compliments.
  • Respect youngsters by listening, without interruption, when they speak, even if you have heard it all before…another explanation for why we have two ears and one mouth.
  • Value differences.
  • Show consideration for children’s privacy and boundaries. Knock first.

2. Be consistent when promoting proper etiquette. (We know only too well that it’s sometimes easier to just let things slide. Instead, dig deep to find strength and steadiness. You’ll bear the fruits of your labor, we guarantee it.)

Bear in mind all children need frequent reminders, at home and when out in public. Reinforce acceptable behaviors, and gently remind kids when it’s obvious they’ve forgotten their manners.

3. Acknowledge positive behavior. (Find all sorts of reasons for them to be successful.)

  • Always praise children when they are using good manners.
  • Do not discipline children in front of others.
  • Be generous with compliments and stingy with criticism.

Now, we end on the same note as we started. No one is born with good manners. We all need to learn them. We encourage you to enroll children in etiquette training to complement your efforts and influence. You will come to value this decision more and more, because these classes will provide your youngsters with a solid foundation on which to build a lifetime of success.

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Children Etiquette Training

Certified Etiquette and Manners Training for Kids and Teens

We compliment the efforts and influence of parents by teaching youngsters of all ages basic etiquette skills and manners.

The Classy and Confident Kids’ Academy presents 2-hour Mini-Manners classes for your group of children, ages 6 to 12. We welcome Girl and Boy Scout troops, sports/school teams, and dance/martial arts classes.

How Etiquette Will Travel

‘Don’t have a pre-existing group of youngsters? Not a problem. Gather a minimum of 6 children together—by involving neighbors, friends, and family—and you’ll be eligible for on-site etiquette training. The Academy comes to a location of your choice—a parent’s home, office conference room, school, church … you name it.

We customize 2-hour sessions to meet the needs of kids in your group. Classes are offered at a quick pace to keep youngsters engaged. Sessions are fun and interactive, and lessons are complemented by games and activities geared toward fostering good manners. There’s serious instruction combined with lots of laughter.

The sessions focus on common courtesies, guidelines for politeness and respect, accepting differences and diversity, managing conflict, developing dining and social skills, along with phone manners and ‘netiquette.

Choose from 2-hour sessions focusing on …

  • Basic protocol and contemporary manners
  • How to create great first impressions
  • How to gracefully conduct themselves during various types of social gatherings
  • Dining skills and table manners
  • Conversation and communications skills

Or, tell us what you want covered, and we’ll meet the specific needs of your teens.

The Classy and Confident Kids’ Academy can further customize content to prepare kids forspecial occasions and situations—such as weddings, parties, dances, (homecoming and prom activities), and college visits.

Private lessons for families can be easily arranged, too.

Miss Kathy and Miss Patt complement the efforts and influence of parents by teaching youngsters etiquette skills and manners. They are mothers, adult trainers, and former child researchers. Between them, they have studied with The Protocol School of Washington, are certified by the Etiquette Moms, and serve as “honorary cops” with the Etiquette Police. Further, they have been approved by the State of Illinois to provide continuous professional development units (CPDUs).

Serving Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Naperville and the surrounding Chicago suburbs.

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My Suburban Life – Etiquette For Everybody

Etiqutte For Everybody Inspires Good Manners

Allison Horne of Surburban Life Publications (Western Suburbs) outlines the inspiration behind Etiqutte For Everybody and the type of contemporary services and programs they provide.

“Etiquette for Everybody programs offer a more contemporary etiquette. Classes range from writing a proper thank-you note to making a good first impression. As part of the original business plan, Get-it done Gurus co-founders Patt Karubus of Glen Ellyn and Kathy Strickland of Lisle focused on working with children. But as time went on, Karubus and her partner realized that it wasn’t just kids that needed etiquette assistance.”

“One of the things that we teach kids is that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason – we should all spend more time listening than talking.”

The read the rest of the article follow the link below

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