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The Polished Child

Parents spend so much time focusing on their child's education. Realize that when your child is being interviewed, polish and self-confidence counts to a great degree.


Children often tend to be shy and withdrawn in social situations, and it is imperative that you help them overcome their shyness at an early stage itself. Teaching them ways to cope through ordinary, everyday situations is the best way to do this.


On the telephone

Often when children receive telephone calls, they just ask the person on the other end to hold on and pass the phone to the respective parent. Instead, let your child inquire who is speaking. If the person on the other end of the line is someone your child knows, he could then greet the person. All he really needs to say is "Hello Maya aunty, good morning. How are you?" Just a few sentences will make a world of difference to your child's level of self-confidence. It will help your child become more self-assured in social situations.


Around guests

Parents often tend to send their kids in their bedrooms as soon as they have visitors. And then a few years later when their children get tongue tied in front of strangers, parents wonder what they should do to help their children overcome this awkwardness. Even if you tell your child once not to speak too much in front of strangers, this may sit heavily in their minds. Instead, let your child babble all he wants to. If you want to spend some time with your guest without being disturbed, be a little tactful when getting this point across. Distract your child by perhaps turning on the television, or send your child to his room to do his homework. You could tell him that he should finish it and then show it to your visitor. Don't make him feel like he is being a nuisance or making a fool of himself.

Give your child specific pointers when teaching them to be hospitable. If you are not around when guests arrives, ask your child to first invite them to come in. Your child could say that you will just be back in a few minutes. Once the guests have been seated, let him ask them what they would like to drink. If there is no maid at home, your child could simply offer them soft drinks or water.


Introducing himself

Teach your child to shake hands and introduce himself when he meets anyone new. Practice with him until he feels comfortable doing this. Parents often spend so much time focusing on their child's education - but what they don't realize is when a child needs to interview for a job or admission to a college or even school - polish and self-confidence counts to a great degree. Picture this. Your child goes for a school interview with the principal, and as soon as he enters the room, he walks up to the principal, introduces himself and shakes his hand! Don't you think he would have made quite an impression?


Minding his Ps and Qs

Teach your child the importance of always being polite. Emphasize this at home by practicing politeness yourself. Always say "Pass the salt, please." If your child leaves out please, you could gently remind him to say it. You can never lay too much emphasis on the words 'please' and 'thank you'. If you don't lay enough emphasis now, then later on he may feel awkward saying these words as they will not come naturally to him.


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