For those who haven’t travelled it’s quite difficult to imagine how other nationalities’ behaviour is different to our own in a local setting.
Being fortunate enough to travel through the United States regularly with business colleagues, we seem to be of one mind with regards to the social aptitude of US children and young adults, and that is, in comparison to our kids, those who grow up in the states seem to have more confidence in communication and because of this always seem to display courtesy and manners way beyond our children. Don’t get me wrong, I would never live in the States and this observation isn’t made to demean our kids. It’s simply an observation that seems to be echoed by so many who travel to the States.
So my question to your panellists is, what do you think we should be doing to make our children more confident to speak up and speak well? It’s certainly true that if we have an awareness that we can speak well, we will speak up, and coupled with an understanding of courtesies, we also know we won’t offend. It’s circular as it also builds confidence.
My own kids are a case in point. They are great kids but the moment they became teenagers they forgot to use please, thank you and excuse me; instead, they grunt instructions at one another. I’d also be keen to know if this is your experience as well.
FELICITY, KEW, VICTORIA
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