A family gathering, a birthday party, or having guests over for a meal can be quite an anxious affair for parents who struggle to get their kids to follow table etiquette and be on their best behaviour.
Andheri-based image consultant and soft skills trainer Farida Dahee first observed this about four years ago at her daughter’s birthday party. “Even before the cake was cut, the kids had pounced on it,” she chuckles about the memory, adding how mannerisms speak volumes about a person’s upbringing, values and family background.
“Whether we like it or not, it’s natural for us to judge people by their first impression. You can’t always blame kids. Besides, parents themselves are often unaware of table manners or social etiquette, which makes it difficult for them to transfer those skills to the kids.”
This led to the setting up of Kidiquette, an online workshop that Dahee runs for kids in the age group of five to 12 years. From learning how to use the fork, knife and chopsticks, to being considerate of people they meet for the first time, she’s got tips for everything. “In a setting where the child doesn’t know the host, we teach them how a good introduction about their hobbies can help make a new friend. Similarly, if guests come over and their parents aren’t home, we role-play to help kids learn to greet the visitors, bring them tea or coffee and make them comfortable until the parents arrive. And once they do, we also guide them on how to respectfully excuse themselves if they need to step away,” says Dahee.
Apart from being good hosts, kids are also advised on how to be accommodating and helpful guests when they visit their friends’ homes or stay back for sleepovers by making their own bedding, offering help in the kitchen and keeping bathrooms and toilets clean.
The workshop has attracted participants from the US, UK and Dubai as well, and has garnered a good response from both kids and parents.
On October 3 and 4, 4 to 5.30 pm
Log on to kidiquette.com
Cost Rs 999
. Make eye contact, smile and give a firm handshake during an introduction.
. Put away your gadgets and avoid speaking with your mouth full during meals.
. Table manners go beyond the use of cutlery. Be kind to those who serve you food.
. Answer the phone politely; note the message, if needed.
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