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The Polite Times
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol III, No 3
March 2004 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner
 
2. Whole Lot of Moving Going On
 
3. Parenting Tip: Arresting the Manners Police
 
4. Help Support Character Education and Social Skills for anyone, anywhere thru EspeciallyPolite
 
5. 20 New Teachers Trained in March “Train the Trainer” Classes!
 
6. The March East Continues – Phoenix Anyone?!
 
 
 
 
 

President’s Corner – New Starts for Spring

Dear PoliteChild families, supporters, and friends:

This “corner” will be a brief one for a number of reasons, the detail on many of these you’ll find further down in the newsletter.

Spring is often a time of renewal, of fresh starts. “Spring cleaning,” the first buds on the trees, robins returning from warmer climates. It’s a time when the whole “cycle of life” begins all over again. It’s interesting that we can extend this metaphor to what’s going on with PoliteChild and how the interest in what we’re offering and our message is bursting into life.

There’s been so much going on at The PoliteChild lately that it’s hard to make time to squeeze in news of all of it. The company is undergoing some amazing and interesting growth, and much of that growth is what our present “busyness” is about. Briefly, the highlights are:

• A new office coming to the California Desert communities of Palm Springs/Palm Desert;
• New PoliteChild licensees in several parts of the US;
• Several new public school teachers trained in the PoliteChild program, from eight new schools;
• Getting ready for the first fundraiser for EspeciallyPolite;
• Preparation for publication of the first book based on The PoliteChild program

…and more!

Spring also brings with it holidays and other celebrations like bridal showers, weddings, proms, and other social situations that can provide opportunities for calling attention to good social skills. Remember that our kids don’t always remember the rules for how they should behave in specific circumstances, so it’s good to review and practice with them beforehand. You, your child, and everyone around you will benefit from a brush-up!

Finally, if you like, you can use the “Spring is Sprung” metaphor for making changes in the social atmosphere of your home, school, or community. Think about something you want to accomplish in the way we interact with one another and declare “spring cleaning” on rudeness. Out with the bad air, in with the good! What better time than Spring to freshen up our manners and spread the good news about good conduct!

Corinne Gregory
President and Founder, The PoliteChild, Inc.

P.S. As always, you can reach me at corinneg@politechild.com with your feedback and comments.

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  Whole Lot of Moving Going On


Spring tends to be a time where many people plant “For Sale” signs in their front yards, crate up their belongings, and uproot themselves to new digs. At The PoliteChild, we have started to feel the sap flowing in our veins, too, and are getting very excited about all the new growth in the Garden of Courtesy! It’s time for us to pull up our stakes and head to warmer climes to sow our seeds of civility in new fields.

Ok…all these planting metaphors are getting rather thick. All silliness aside, The PoliteChild is branching out (oops!) and we are opening an office in the Palm Springs, California area beginning in April. Our business operations in the Coachella Valley and Southern California are rapidly expanding, so it makes sense that we have a more permanent presence in that area to support it.

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 Parenting Tip: Arresting the Manners Police


Have you ever felt like you’re constantly correcting your kids or other family members on their use of manners and social skills? Or, do you find yourself constantly saying, “No, don’t do that” or “I really wish you wouldn’t…”? Or, are you wondering how you can better motivate your son or daughter to use the good manners they have learned? Well, we have a parenting tip that’s perfect for you that will both get you out of the role of being the “Manners Police” and increase the likelihood that your kids will practice and remember to use good social skills.

How? It’s as easy as turning a “no” into a “yes.”

You’re likely familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang, or the saying that there are two sides to every story? Well, you can put that same concept into practice with teaching and reinforcing social skills (and other aspects of parenting, too). For every “no” there is an equal and opposite statement that has a positive approach. Consider what happens in the following scenario:

Child: Can I have some candy?
Parent: No, you’ll ruin your appetite for dinner.

The next part of this dialogue is predictable. The child feels “put out” because he can’t have what he wants. You have just put yourself smack in between your child and what your child desires. Aren’t you a meanie? You are now “the enemy” because you won’t let him have what he wants.

Better way: don’t be the bad guy anymore. There is a way to accomplish exactly the same thing – you don’t want your child to eat junk food instead of a healthy dinner – without ending up being the enemy. You “reframe” your statement so that it is a positive one, like the following:

Child: Can I have some candy?
Parent: Yes, after you’ve eaten a good dinner.

Do you see the difference? You are no longer the one who is denying your child’s heart’s desire. You’ve said “yes!” But, you’ve also made the conditions for that “yes” very clear. Instead of “no, not until…” you can use a “yes, when…” statement. For table manners practice, consider this:

Child: Hey, can we go out to dinner?
Parent: Sure, as soon as your table manners improve. Maybe we should work on how to use your knife and fork properly tonight so you’ll feel more comfortable with that.

It may sound simplistic, but the difference between “no” and “yes, when…” is huge! Psychologically, when we hear “no” we immediately go into defense mode. We feel like we have to now argue for or justify what it is we want. But, if you start with “yes,” then you’ve taken the whole argument out of it before it’s even begun!

Try it at home, just for a week, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your reactions, your stress level, and most importantly, in how your child responds to you! Let us know how it works!

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 Help Support Character Education and Social Skills for anyone, anywhere thru EspeciallyPolite


We’re excited to announce that EspeciallyPolite, Inc. (the not-for-profit sister corporation of The PoliteChild) is going to be holding its first fundraiser. And, the great thing is – everyone is invited and you don’t have to worry about dressing up or leaving home!

EspeciallyPolite is holding an on-line benefit auction. We have teamed with MaestroSoft, makers of the leading software for managing benefit auctions, to raise funds that will be used to support the organization’s mission.

Proceeds from this auction will be used to…

  1. Acquire a desktop system/server to help manage and administer the EspeciallyPolite program
  2. Cover costs of training teachers/provide materials for 20 Washington middle school EBD kids
  3. Provide for adaptation of PoliteChild curriculum for high-functioning behaviorally-challenged kids
  4. Provide scholarships (partial or complete) for students in behavioral-specialty EP programs

Our goal is to raise $20,000 this first time out, and, given the number of our supporters, it’s an aggressive campaign, but not one that’s unrealistic. We will be offering a number of really special items such as trips (anyone for a safari, or a jaunt to Australia/New Zealand?), golf excursions, and more. The idea is to get something you’ve always wanted AND help a good cause at the same time. What can be better than that?

More on the details of how we’ll hold it, when it’ll start and end, how you can view and bid will be announced in an upcoming special notice. But, in the meantime, you may be wondering how you can help. There are and will be a number of ways, including:

  1. Help us get the word out. Auctions don’t work very well, we’ve found, if there aren’t any bidders. Feel free to forward this newsletter, the upcoming auction announcement, or any of our other materials to folks that would be interested in supporting our mission.
  2. Donate items. It’ll be really easy since it’s all on-line! No need to schlep that Chihuly vase in – just submit a photo! It’s time for the Spring cleaning – what do you have in your attic that someone else might want?
  3. Bid on items. Again, see #1 above.
  4. Participate with cash or in-kind donations. If you have a spare computer, for example, that would work great as a server, we’ll be happy to accept your donation at fair market value.

We really want to make this a success because we are overwhelmed with the number of kids and families that could take advantage of our program if only we had the scholarship funds available or if we had the curriculum tailored to their specific physical or emotional challenges. Think how great it would be if, in the near future, we could say “yes” to their requests instead of “we’d like to but…”

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming auction! If you have an item you’d like to donate, please contact us! And, for more information about MaestroSoft and how their products and services can help benefit auctions, golf tournaments, or more, check out www.maestrosoft.com.

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  20 New Teachers Trained in March “Train the Trainer” Classes!


March came in like a lion for PoliteChild instructor training courses. On March 5, teachers at Dr. Carreon Academy received training for the Exploring the Virtues II course, which they have begun teaching their students this month.

The following Monday, twenty new teachers, counselors, and administrators from eight new public schools in the Desert Sands Unified School District received training in the SocialSmarts™ course. Schools represented included Madison, Kennedy, Adams, Carter, Eisenhower, Hoover, Lincoln, and Jackson. The training courses were well received by the “students” and overwhelmingly, teachers reported that their next steps would be to try some of the concepts in their classrooms before the end of the school year, with a goal of implementing the program in their schools as soon as possible. One teacher commented that by bringing this program into the schools, “I feel many problems which impeded instruction would be solved.”

If you’re interested in learning more about bringing PoliteChild programs to your school or organization, visit our website pages devoted to this topic:

For public schools:
     http://www.politechild.com/publicschools

For private schools and organizations:
     http://www.politechild.com/privateschools


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  The March East Continues – Phoenix Anyone?!


Last month we told you that we were making inroads into San Diego, and were “staking our claim” in this part of the country. Well, we’re continuing to march east and are eyeing new territory again. This time, it’s a whole new state…

Arizona is our next major region as we’ve had inquiries from licensee prospects in the greater Scottsdale/Phoenix area. We also have some other connections that will aid us in opening up that community as soon as this summer and the coming fall school year.

If you know anyone who is interested in teaching for PoliteChild, or may even be interested in starting a PoliteChild business of their own in this area, have them get in touch with us! Phoenix is just a hop and a skip away from Palm Springs/Desert area, so it’s within easy reach of our Southern California operations!

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