If you’ve ever seen a child behaving improperly, whether it’s not holding the door open for someone or playing with their phone at a family dinner, you can understand why Donna Bostany and Lisa Butowsky, certified etiquette instructors, feel the need to bring back the teaching of manners to children.
Bostany and Butowsky teach etiquette classes for children in Hoboken. The classes are for children age 4 to 12 and cover social etiquette, communication skills, and table manners.
Bostany has been a resident of Union City for 16 years and owes her interest in etiquette to Butowsky, her sister, who has a degree in early childhood development and has been working with children for most of her career. Bostany believes that children are the best resources for the future, and that if people can affect and help them, the results will be very rewarding.
Butowsky and Bostany got involved with Your Charming Child because they observed children’s behavior and saw a lack of etiquette, affirmed by lots of other parents. They decided that they would fix the issue one child at a time. Butowsky also spoke of her desire to contribute to society through the kids.
“It works, you can see it,” Bostany said.
Getting along with others
One of the sections of the classes is social etiquette, which includes lessons like how to behave in society, how to be a welcoming host, and how to introduce yourself. Bostany and Butowsky use costumes and role play to inject fun into their classes.
The children introduce themselves, shake each other’s hands, smile, make eye contact, and even introduce a third person. Other lessons include teaching the other students interview skills and teaching the younger students proper door usage etiquette.
Butowsky spoke of a young boy who put on a crown and a mask and said he was a princess, an example of how the kids become very imaginative and come up with fun and creative names and characters during the role play exercises.
The sisters also created Miss Mistake (TM), a character who acts in all the wrong ways and does all the wrong things.
Bostany and Butowsky did not develop the lessons they teach, but added to them after they took a course at The International School of Protocol in Maryland, where they became certified to be etiquette instructors. They also used lessons from a workbook that the kids can bring home so their parents can reinforce what they learn in class.
“Self respect and self esteem result in leadership ability.” – Donna Bostany, etiquette teacher
“There’s nothing worse than a child who’s awkward and shy and doesn’t know how to behave,” she said.
She also said that studies have shown that success is directly correlated to social skills. Parents want their children to be successful, and having manners will give their kids a leg up on those who don’t know proper etiquette.
“These are parents who want to give their kids lots of opportunities to succeed,” Butowsky said.
Bostany said she believes that etiquette classes are important for children because we live in a world of social interaction and relationships – with parents, with peers, and in the work place.
“A simple introduction, by looking someone in the eye, shows respect, which is really what we’re after,” Bostany said.
Bostany said that after children take classes at Your Charming Child, they become more helpful at home because they learned about empathy.
Butowsky added that well mannered kids are preferred playmates and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors later in their life. She said that proper social skills are essential to exist socially with other people in a society that is “striving to become a population of selfish, apathetic, robots with no need for personal reaction.”
Your Charming Child recently hosted classes at 1150 Maxwell Lane at The Hoboken Man. For more information visit www.yourcharmingchild.com.