Newport Manners & Etiquette: Back-to-School Etiquette, Polite Boys + Protecting Physical Space
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Raising well-mannered boys
Q. How do we raise boys to respect women? I have a hard time being around children, especially disrespectful boys. I'm not saying boys should behave more like girls, I'm asking how to get boys to treat women better? Name Withheld
A. Despite the fact that more and more daughters are being told they can be anything they want to be -- a mother who is also the CEO of a multi-national corporation or even an astronaut, it's unclear what signals we're giving to boys to promote an unbiased society.
When babies and toddlers throw food on the floor or don't put away their toys and mothers or women caregivers clean up the mess, women perpetuate the message that they are there to clean and tidy up. However, after a day of work, grocery shopping and getting children ready for bed and school the next day, most of the time it is easier to not make a fuss and we clean up the mess ourselves.
Only when we have more men handling childcare more of the time will this change.
To quote Gloria Steinem, "I’m glad we’ve begun to raise our daughters more like our sons, but it will never work until we raise our sons more like our daughters.”
Q. What are your back to school tips for elementary age school children? The summer has been out of control with sleep-overs and too much fast food. I can't wait for them to be back at school because they are bouncing off the walls! Theresa, Seekonk, MA
- It is hard to do, but must be done. Each night get your children into bed ten minutes earlier. Controlling their sugar intake by eating less sugar after three o'clock should ease them into sleep sooner.
- Before doing so, have them lay out their clothing and pack their knapsacks. However, don't let procrastination stall an early bedtime. If need be, have them choose between two outfits, one for tomorrow and the other for the day after.
- Don't blow your back-to-school budget before school starts. If they're still wearing shorts, any long pants you buy now may be too short by the time they want to switch over to long pants.
- Understand the social nuances of their circle of friends by looking to see the kind of sneakers, socks, hair clasps, etc, kids are wearing this fall. Are their classmates mostly in Skechers? Find the nearest outlet store. What kind of backpacks are they using? How are they wearing their hair? Are they rolling or folding over their socks?
- In warm weather inevitably children consume far too much sugar through fruit drinks, slushies, popsicles and ice-cream. Wean them off overly-sugared foods and beverages. When you go grocery shopping, look to see how many grams of sugar are contained in one serving. The sooner you cut back on the sugar, the calmer they'll become. And now that you're packing lunch again, you can take better control of their sugar intake.
Get the school year off to a brilliant start by:
- never bribing a child with food because bribing with food is a well-known cause of eating disorders.
- making sure that your children understand why they're posting or sending something on social media. Help them make better decisions as to what to say and send, and what to hold off on.
Much of this answer, Theresa, may sound uncreative and superficial, but is clearly backed by research that you can Google.
At the end of the day, teaching your children to be mindful about how they go about interacting with other people will always be of value to them.
Protecting personal space
Q. I am an educated, employed, 65-year-old black woman who doesn't like being kissed on the lips by anyone, especially not politicians. At political fundraisers I usually run into an old acquaintance who greets me with a kiss on the lips. His breath is always sweet and he is well-groomed, but how do I greet this man so that he doesn't think he has a right to kiss me every time we meet? Janis, Philadelphia
A. It's not enough to acknowledge your personal space, you have to be polite but firm and head off this man's advances with your body language. There are several ways you can meet and greet with dignity and warmth, here's my favorite handshake for this:
Extend your left hand toward him when you see him coming and hold it warmly, but keep it stretched out as though you have a cold and don't want him to get too close. The warm flesh of your hand may be all the body contact he needs. Keep holding it as you chat and he will take in the message from your body language.
Q. When writing a letter or message and I don't know the name or gender of the person, do I write Dear Sir or Madame:? Or do I just write Dear Sir:? Allison, Madrid, Spain
A. The politically correct greeting in an email or letter when you haven't a clue as to the recipient's gender - let alone their name - may not sound warm and friendly, but it certainly won't offend anybody. Absolutely nobody would ever be offended when you use:
To Whom It May Concern
Of course it is always way better to address the person by name: Dear Mr. Brown or Dear Ms. Greene. So if you are writing to the personnel director, for instance, find his or her name on the company website and address the email or letter with an envelope to him or her. If her name is Allison and you don't know if she likes to be addressed as Ms. or Mrs., use Ms.
In conversation, you wouldn't say, "Hey, boy" or "Hey, Miss," you would say "Sir" or "Mam" to grab their attention or express your appreciation. Sir and Mam are both general-purpose words of respect used in polite conversation when you don't know the stranger's name. You wouldn't use the title Mr., Ms., or Mrs. unless the title is in conjunction with the person's last name: Mr. Brown or Ms. Greene.
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her forthcoming book.
Related Slideshow: 25 Things You Must do in New England Before the Summer Ends - 2017
Take a Wine Tour
Across New England
New England is home to some of the best wineries in the country from Newport Vineyards in Rhode Island to Westport Rivers Vineyards in Massachusetts.
You can hit them all on the Coastal Wine Trail.
The trail stretches from Cape Cod and the Islands through the South Coast of Massachusetts and Coastal Rhode Island and Coastal Connecticut.
Visit Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum is offering free admission throughout the month of August, so take advantage.
“Free August” includes access for everyone to special exhibitions, the permanent galleries, and WAM’s August programming -- including Art + Market, tours, Art Carts, arms and armor demonstrations, and Nude Drawing in the Galleries.
Catch a Movie at the Rustic Drive-In
North Smithfield, RI
Call up your friends, pack a picnic, and sit in your car as feature films are projected along giant outdoor screens.
The audio plays right through your radio, so be sure to turn the volume up high as you snack on your candy and popcorn.
Visit Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour
Take a 30 minute tour of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory in Vermont and see where your favorite flavors of ice cream are made. It is ice cream season after all.
The factory is open year round and admission is just $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and kids 12 and under are FREE.
Participate in the Worcester World Cup 2017
The 2017 Worcester World Cup is set to take place from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13.
The Worcester World Cup is more than a soccer tournament. It's a celebration of Worcester and a safe, friendly family event that people look forward to all year.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon at Great Falls Balloon Festival
Get up to Maine and hop into a hot air balloon during the Great Falls Balloon Festival.
Visitors will have the chance to take a balloon ride high above the ground and watch the sun rise or set.
The festival takes place from August 19 to August 21.
Catch a Show at Cape Playhouse Theatre
Take a ride to Cape Cod and visit the oldest summer theatre in the country, Cape Playhouse. Cape Playhouse was first opened in 1927 by Raymond Moore.
The theatre has been home to some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart amongst others.
Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event.
Starting out in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence, it has grown to run continuously, once a month, from May-November and boasts over 80 blazing fires in the middle of the Providence River.
WaterFire is a not-for-profit organization that aims to creatively transform Providence – and they do! Each event is accompanied with music by artists from around the world, varies food stands and art stands to browse as you stroll along the river.
Zip Line in the Berkshires
Need some extra excitement to close out the summer? Head to the Berkshires and get yourself on a zip line, maybe even do a canopy tour.
There are three different tour options, starting with the base area tour which lasts an hour or the Mountain Top or Valley Jump tour which takes three hours. Both of those are sure to shoot some adrenaline into your day.
Walk The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a two and a half mile walking tour that connects 16 significant Boston landmarks.
Interior access to the Freedom Trail's sites is also free, except for the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House.
The Freedom Trail is a great way to get exercise, explore Boston and learn about history, all at the same time.
If you buy tickets online they are discounted at $12 for adults, $10 for students and $6.50 for kids ages 6-12.
See Billy Joel at Fenway Park
The must see concert of the summer, Billy Joel at Fenway Park on August 30.
Billy Joel released his first hit song, arguably still his biggest hit, Piano Man in 1973 an since has become the 6th best selling recording artist and the third best selling solo artist in the United States.
Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
Seeing Joel would be a great way to cap off the summer.
Walk the Newport Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions is its gilded age mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.
The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery.
PHOTO: Connie Ma/flickr
Visit Acadia National Park
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park.
The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
The park entrance fee is FREE from August 25th to the 28th.
Besides that, admission is $12 while those 15 and under are FREE of charge.
Play Golf at Harbor Lights
Last weeks of summer, be sure to get those final rounds of the season in at Harbor Lights.
Harbor Lights in Warwick offers golfers a great place to tee it up.
Not to mention the amazing scenery and the great food at the Par + Tackle restaurant.
Go to Royalston Falls
If you want a little bit of late summer adventure, hike to Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA.
The hike itself isn’t too long, but it can be challenging. It leads you to a remote gorge created by prehistoric glacial meltwater and 45 foot plunging waterfall within a half-hidden ravine. If you’re up for the adventure, the destination is far worth the trek.
Walk, Run or Bike the Blackstone River Bikeway
Runs from Worcester to Providence
The idea behind the Blackstone River Bikeway was to create a bike path running 48 miles, from Worcester to Providence along the National Heritage Corridor. It links the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal connect with the East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island.
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