So. I don’t have kids. That gives me a view that parents simply do not have. I know, you’ll probably say it’s an unrealistic view and I get it. I do. Even though I don’t have kids, I see how some might think my thoughts are unrealistic. But I don’t believe they are.
M and I were talking the other day about our service providers and how many of them are from Gen X. He was saying that they simply do not have the same customer orientation that prior generations have. I agree.
I remember a big vet office I went to in which we could never see the vet we wanted to because schedules were arranged for their “work-life balance.” The concept of work-life balance is a corporate issue, an HR issue. It’s not something an organization should expect a customer to care about. The fact that they were tone-deaf enough to think we cared about their work-life balance more than we cared about our dogs was, eye-opening. Possibly and seriously generational.
Our current vet office has a similar orientation. Their hours, their availability are about them, not about the patient. If they’d wanted that kind of schedule they should’ve gone into radiology, so they’d have hardly any patient contact or responsibility for outcome.
But I digress. Back to what savvy parents teach their children. Or should.
To RSVP. And promptly.
I am shocked at the number of people who do not respond to an invitation at all, much less in a timely fashion. It’s as if they don’t understand that event planners have to consider quantity of food and other matters.
It’s not just RSVP, though….it’s an overall lack of thinking about others. My mother taught me to respond to invitations promptly, if only to say “not sure of my schedule but I’ll let you know by…” and then really let them know.
It’s about common courtesy. Overall. And savvy parents know it and teach their kids accordingly.
Thank you notes.
There’s a cult of entitlement in our country and thank-yous have gone by the wayside. Not just notes, but the sincere thank you for a gift or some other favor.
Many kids feel entitled, so why should they say thanks?
It’s a parent’s responsibility to insist on this and help instill that habit in their children.
Greet politely or even hug adults as “hello.”
In my Sicilian culture, we were taught to greet adults politely when we were in their company and if they were related, they always got a hug. The hug greeting included close friends of our parents who were honorary aunts and uncles. This was a way of showing respect and if it meant that we hugged 40 relatives when saying hello and goodbye at a holiday, we did it. And I’m glad we did.
These days, some kids don’t even acknowledge the grown-ups in the room. I think that’s a result of bad parenting. Some parents say they don’t want to “force” their kids to do that. “Force” is such a cop-out word. It’s good training, good parenting, being responsible and teaching.
Savvy parents teach their children to show their respect for adults and really, for all living creatures.
Do unto others.
Which brings me to the Golden Rule, which never goes out of style. NEVER. Good parents instill this in their kids and makes sure it applies to all living creatures. And really, isn’t this what life and relationships are all about?
Of course, your thoughts (and additions to my list) are always welcome, even if they disagree.