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The Polite Times 
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol III, No 9
November 2004 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner

2. Holiday Manners Courses Filling up Fast!

3. New “20/20” Year-End Promotion for Schools and Organizations!

4. Nominate your Candidates for the Third Annual “Bah Humbug” Awards!

5. Holiday Social Survival Guides Are Still Available

6. Profile: National Licensees – Meet Polite Company

7. Parenting Tip: Holiday Dining – How long should they sit at table?

8. PoliteChild in the Press

9. Feedback Wanted

10. Party Manners Booklet Now Available

President’s Corner – Attitude of Gratitude

Dear PoliteChild family, supporters, and friends:

OK, the turkey has been done away with, leftovers are stashed. We’ve decimated the pumpkin pie. The traditional day of thankfulness is now behind us. Now what? 

How many of us went around the table last Thursday, each of us encouraged to share with the assembled group what it is/was we were thankful for? Probably many of us – I know we did it at our Thanksgiving table.

But, how many of us asked the same question a day later? Did any of us even ask it of ourselves?

It seems, from emails I’ve received this past year and discussions I’ve had, that there are a many people who have hit on hard times lately. Maybe those are financial: we seem to have a growing economy, according to the pundits and other experts in these things, but for many the budding prosperity has yet to reach their own homes. Others have lost family members, or individuals they were close to for other reasons. There are those who have experienced the division of a family, or a traumatic or unexpected move. In some cases, there have been multiple challenges that have all hit at the same or near time.

What’s to be thankful for, then, in these cases? What’s to celebrate if we’ve only managed to struggle through another year?

But, that’s where the true spirit of gratitude comes in. It’s in finding the silver lining, however thin and fleeting, in the dark clouds. There may be only a mere ray of sun, but it’s that ray we hang on to, and it’s that ray that promises us that there’s more sun where that came from.

The problem is, we’re so used to “having it our way” that when life deals us situations beyond our control, we are apt to just give up and give in. With that attitude, where would the pioneers be now? Our depression-era parents or grandparents? Our own immigrant ancestors? There’s always a spirit of optimism, of believing and knowing that more can be accomplished if only we try that drives us.

And, now that we are entering the “Season of More” it’s harder than ever to believe that we have – that we are – enough, as-is. Let’s stop a moment every day and think about how good we truly have it. Yes there may be some tough times that we’re living now or in the present, but in the words of Gene Wilder in the movie Young Frankenstein, “Could be worse, could be raining…” Funny how that prediction of “worse is possible” suddenly comes true.

I’m guilty, too, of looking at the glass half-empty at times. Life deals us with scenarios that seem insurmountable sometimes. And, we can let those scenarios become self-fulfilling prophecies or unexpected opportunities, depending on how we approach them and how we react to them. Maybe we should even be thankful for the challenges, because it’s only through fire that the finest metal is forged.

As this holiday season gets underway, let’s take a moment each day to share with our families or other people important to us, those things for which we truly have to be grateful for. On some rough days, those friendships and acquaintances may be all it seems we have to be grateful for. But, we in the Gregory household took a vote this week: “rich and miserable” or “happy and poor.” Those were the choices. We unanimously agreed that to be happy, with ones we truly love and are loved by, even if that means we’d have to stay poor and wanting in the world’s sense, is infinitely more to be wanted than any alternative.

With that, we at The PoliteChild want to thank you for your support and on-going friendship and dialog over the past year and more. We wish you and your families every blessing – to be counted each and every day!

As usual you can reach me any time with your comments and observations at   corinneg@politechild.com.

Corinne Gregory, President & Founder

 

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  Holiday Manners Courses Filling up Fast!


It’s that time again, folks! The holidays are coming! Depending on how things are around your home, this may either fill you with excitement…or with dread. In last month’s newsletter, we told you these courses would be coming soon…well, there hee—errre—e! Holiday Manners courses are being held in California, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

Plan now for a Happier and more Mannerly Holiday Season by joining us for this two-session Holiday Manners class.

This course will give your children the tools they need to graciously receive a gift, meet and greet new people, and more. Parents will learn tips on how to avoid the most common run-ins with their children and what to do in order to survive the holidays with grace and style. Here’s a class outline:

Part I Part II
Dealing with Kids’ Dress Up Holiday Dining
Managing Parties with Polish Gift Giving and Receiving

Join us for these fun, two one-hour parent/child sessions. We’ll be serving some holiday refreshments and snacks will be provided to enhance the festive and fun mood.

This is really a terrific class designed to help you over those holiday hurdles! Check the website at http://www.politechild.com/classes/classes_location.htm for more information and a location near you!

With our solid and time-tested tips, we guarantee you’ll have a more peaceful and joyous holiday season.

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 New “20/20” Year-End Promotion for Schools and Organizations!


Last month we announced our referral programs for parents and for schools and other organizations. This month, we’re going one better: a new promotion that makes the PoliteChild program affordable for just about everyone!

Most of us have heard of “20/20 hindsight.” Well, what if we were able to give you “20/20 FORE-sight?” Yes, indeed, what we’re about to tell you about is the equivalent of an accurate crystal ball…

We’ve had a tremendous year so far, starting more students in PoliteChild programs this Fall alone as we’ve had the pleasure of enrolling in our company’s history to-date. And, the demand is only increasing, especially from schools looking to bring us in as part of the core curriculum. We also know that many schools familiar with our results want to bring in PoliteChild programs of their own, but aren’t sure exactly how they will fund the classes and when that funding will be available.

We take our relationships with our member schools seriously, and we’re always looking for new ways to help them. So, we’re pleased to be able to offer this “20/20” program:
20% off the total cost of licensing, materials, and training
• With only 20% down
…allows your school or organization to lock in PoliteChild courses today!

Our training schedule for 2005 is already beginning to fill, and we want to be able to accommodate our new school clients. By taking advantage of the 20/20 offer you can reserve your training date now for anytime in 2005, and lock in pricing at this year’s levels!

One more thing: The 20/20 pricing program can be used in addition to any discounts or promotions that may already apply to your school (such as the referral program).

In order for this offer to apply, you must take advantage of the 20/20 program by booking your school or organization on or before 12:00pm ET on Friday, December 31, 2004. For more information or to reserve your place on the 2005 calendar, contact us in any of these ways:

Email: info@politechild.com
Phone: 1-866-485-4089 or (760) 772-8886
Regular Mail:
The PoliteChild, Inc.
Southwest Regional Office
74-924 Country Club Dr., Suite 150-64
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Please be sure to mention the 20/20 offer when you contact us!

Don’t be left with the typical 20/20 hindsight: wishing you jumped at the chance when you had it. Make your New Year’s resolution early to contact The PoliteChild today! We know you’ll be glad you did, and so will the kids, parents, educators in your school or organization!  

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 Nominate your Candidates for the Third Annual “Bah Humbug” Awards!


Wow, hard to believe we’re doing this for the THIRD time! Our annual “Bah Humbug” Awards, which goes to the company, individual, or group that really epitomizes the “me first” philosophy around the holidays or even throughout the year.

We announce our “winners” in each year’s December newsletter. For details, see 2002's Bah Humbug story. We’ve had some really good ones in year’s past…now it’s time to single out this years “winner.” (loser?)

We’re now accepting nominations for this year’s “Bah Humbug” candidates. Deadline for submission is Friday, December 10th. That will give us enough time to review submissions and see if any of you have clear, common favorites, and to research the winners. Submit your lucky candidate to bahhumbug@politechild.com.

The person who submits this year's winning entry will receive a PoliteChild "Got Manners?" T-Shirt,  http://www.politechild.com/store/storemain.htm for T-Shirt. and recognition (if you like!) in the December newsletter.

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  Holiday Social Survival Guides Are Still Available


All year, we’ve had an incredible response to our offer of the “Holiday Social Survival Guide” for parents and kids. You still have a chance to get your copy, if you haven’t already done so. Downloadable versions of the booklets are available on the website.

To download a copy of the guide that is appropriate for your child’s age, simply go to the home page at www.politechild.com and scroll down the right of the page where you’ll see the image of the booklet. Click on the image and simply follow directions to be taken to the download site. And, feel free to share the information about the guide with friends, family, or anyone you think can benefit! It’s our way of saying “thank you” to our friends and supporters.

You can also order copies of the Party Manners Guide from this same place (www.politechild.com ). You’ll find it accessible from the home page as well, for a nominal cost.

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 Profile: National Licensees – Meet Polite Company


This month, we’d like you to meet our newest licensee – The Polite Company, based in Central Florida.

Jackie Bambrough’s business is up and running as of November 1st and already has garnered interest from private schools and civic organizations in the Orlando area.

Jackie and her husband Monte recently relocated from Colorado to Central Florida with his company, Office Depot, where Monte is a Regional Sales Director. Before the relocation, Jackie worked as a successful product trainer and sales person for 6 years in the writing instrument business. Her goal in Florida was to start a new career in a field that involved teaching, for which she has always had a passion, and to utilize her talent for sales in a positive and productive way.

After reading a letter to the editor of USA Today from PoliteChild Founder and President, Corinne Gregory, Jackie knew she had found the opportunity she had been envisioning. Jackie states, “I was not only impressed by Corinne’s assessment of a growing problem in our society today, but amazed someone had put into action what I have been talking to my friends and family about for the last few years.” Jackie and Monte believe that many people today are confusing a “free” society with one where you are “free” from being civil. Jackie was drawn to this program because it is a program needed by everyone from children to adults. Polite Company, along with PoliteChild, is set to embark on a very rewarding business: helping make our world a kinder place one child at a time!

For more information about business opportunities with The PoliteChild or our licensee program, check out our dedicated web page at: http://www.politechild.com/company-license.htm.

Our next licensee training is scheduled for January, in Palm Desert, CA.

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 Parenting Tip: Holiday Dining – How long should they sit at table?


A frequent question we get is that of how often one should reasonably expect children to sit at table with us during the meal and after it’s over. We think this is a particularly important topic of discussion during the holidays, when it’s typical for us grownups to linger over the (from the kids’ perspective) 27th interminable cup of coffee after the meal. Remember those days? Why can’t the grownups get on with it, already?

Well the answer to the question is “it depends.” From the child’s perspective, once the eating has been completed, there’s no longer any point to sitting at the table, right? But, we want our children to learn the finer social graces, and silly matters like making conversation – during and after the meal – are part of the skills we want them to learn.

When you are trying to figure out what length of time is appropriate for children to stay at the table, you need to consider the age of the child. The younger your little diner, the less attention span they have, and the less tolerance for boring grownup stuff. So, if you want them to stay at table once they’ve finished their meal, you should provide them with quiet things to do: allow them to color in a small coloring book, read a book (or flip pages), even a small toy or two should work as long as your child doesn’t recreate the Civil War with them.

As your child gets older, the length of time they can spend at table with the adults should reasonably increase. But, even for grade-school aged kids, it’s not out of line to allow them to read a book or color at the table after they are done with the meal. But, it would be a terrific gift to them if you would work with them in advance of the meal and teach them some things they could say or do to continue and promote a conversation. If you give the a few “hooks” – for example, to ask a grownup what they do for a living, or how they know the host or hostess – you will be giving them some incredible advantages, both for the immediate as well as the future. After all, how many of us still struggle with how to make conversation with a stranger?

By the time your child reaches teen years, they should be expected to remain at table with the adults until the meal is concluded. That means everyone is finished eating, and it’s clear that no further eating is going to be done. This is where the conversational skills would really come in handy, because you’re certainly not going to let your teen have a magazine or other publication at the table, and they are well past the stage of coloring books! So, work with your child ahead of time to help them feel comfortable with making and continuing conversations with adults. You’ll be amazed, -- and so will they – when the grownups’ jaws all drop because you have a teen who can hold his or her own in a discussion! Truly, that’s a gift, and one that every child, and even adult can benefit from!

It comes down to this: if you want your child to stay with you at table, you should give then something to do. That “something” should be tailored to the age of the child – supplemental activities for younger kids like coloring or reading, and “real world” activities for older kids like making conversation. It all comes down to preventing boredom because we all get twitchy to go on to another activity once we get bored with the current thing. Our kids are just smaller and less sophisticated versions of ourselves, so put yourself in your child’s shoes and see what he sees. It’ll give you plenty of insight into how to handle the matter.

As usual, we welcome your comments, suggestions for, and feedback on this column! Email us at info@politechild.com .

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 PoliteChild in the Press


Wow, busy month! You can find us in oodles of places this month, and even more up-and-coming

Nick Jr.Family Magazine – you’ll find us in the November issue, sure ‘nuff! On Manners made fun! (yes this is possible!)
Seattle Magazine – The December issue is on the newsstands! We’ve already gotten calls from it. The article is entitled “Missed Manners” and discusses the rise in popularity of programs such as The PoliteChild.
Real Simple Magazine – December issue. PoliteChild is included in an article called “You’re Invited” and we are featured in the column entitled “On Their Best Behavior” about children’s manners and the holidays – setting expectations, managing things more easily. This information is based on our Holiday Manners course.
The New Jersey Record – The impact of violent video games on our children, especially discussing the newest release of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” The entire article can be found at http://mix.northjersey.com/story.php?qstr=ZmdiZWxWcWVlRUV5eTY2MDkyNzMmeXJpcnkyVnFlZUVFeXkxMDM=  
The Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram – on finding ways to reduce or eliminate the amount of commercialism and materialism over the holidays Education Week – The PoliteChild comments on the impact of TV violence on our kids. See: http://www.politechild.com/news/EducationWeek111704.pdf

Coming to a newsstand near you:
San Jose Mecury News – late December
Kiwanis Magazine - January
…and then there’s Entrepreneur ….still looming out there, we think. Hellooooooo????? Anybody home?

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  Feedback Wanted


At PoliteChild, we always strive to come up with information for our newsletters that is interesting and relevant to you our readers. We’d love to get feedback on how we’re doing – are we meeting our readers’ needs?

Let us know if you’d like to see a specific topic addressed or if you have a question you’d like answered. We can keep it anonymous, of course – we wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone because that wouldn’t be polite.

But, if you have a topic on raising kids with better social skills, education reform, basic (or not-so-basic) manners or etiquette question, please   drop us a line and we’ll look to feature it in an upcoming issue!

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  Party Manners Booklet Now Available


Our newest e-booklet, Party Manners Worth Celebrating is now available for download from the PoliteChild website.  One of the most frequent topics parents (and the media!) question us about is how to improve your child’s conduct at one of their earliest social “appearances” – the birthday party.

To address the many questions we get about this topic The PoliteChild has created a handbook which is available to all our newsletter subscribers and the general public.

In the booklet, you’ll find answers to your birthday party questions and cover topics such as:
• What’s expected when your child is the host
• Your child as the guest
• Invitations and RSVPs
• Giving and receiving gifts graciously
• Thank you notes
…and more…

You can get your very own copy of the Party Manners booklet right now for only $4.95.

To get your copy, go to http://www.politechild.com/store/pmwc.htm and follow the download instructions. We know you’ll find it to be a valuable resource for yourself, and even to share with your neighborhood, homeschool network, PTO, or other family/parenting group.  We hope you enjoy your copy! And, we’d love to get any feedback you may have!

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