Excuse me! Is that cell phone glued to your hand?
Last weekend we invited a teenage girlfriend of our daughter (for privacy purposes, let’s just call her AMY) to join our family for a long weekend getaway at the beach. Amy has always been truly a lovely girl, always smiling, happy to help clear the dishes, always saying the polite “thank you” when required.
However, she would not stop texting. Morning, noon, at the beach, and before bed. I finally became so annoyed on Day #2 that I asked -
“Amy, who is so important that you have to text constantly?”
And Amy answered-
“Well, all my friends love texting me.”
And then I said -
“However, you chose to come with your friend to the beach (i.e. MY daughter) and it’s pretty rude of you to be ignoring her. Remember, she’s your friend standing next to you”.
Obviously, my words meant nothing because that very evening, my husband and I decided to take everyone out to a very fancy restaurant. Amy proceeded to hold her cell phone on her lap… texting… throughout the entire Saturday night dinner.
Parents … this is your wakeup call. It is time to re-visit social etiquette and Manners 101, and remember the following:
1. If you allow your kid to have a cell phone, set limits to when and WHY it should be used.
2. Review how utterly RUDE it is to be texting when in the company of others.
3. Remind them how they might feel if being ignored by their friends simply because they couldn’t peel their eyes away from their cell phone.
4. Discuss with your kids the value of a “real conversation” and that the world does not need to revolve around gibberish, senseless, meaningless texting.
5. Remind your kids that when they are in the “real job world”, if their communication skills stink, likely will the position they hold.
6. Any real negotiations or sales occur through an actual conversation, not through 30 second text messages.
7. And most importantly, TALK with other parents and ask for feedback about your kids' manners. Ask if your kid was polite. And if not, take appropriate measures (i.e. no cell phone for a week). They’ll get the message!