Plugged In and Tuned Out

17 Nov

Teaching kids good manners is not an easy thing to do. Many parents struggle to pass onto their children the lessons that they received from their parents. It is important to develop communication skills at an early age, however, as the more a child learns, the better prepared he or she will be in the future. Now a days, kids spend more time plugged into their electronics and less time having real face-to-face conversations, making the development of those social skills even harder. New York City parents seem to have come up with an interesting solution to this problem—outsourcing.


What at first glance appears to be a 6th graders poor attempt at spelling, is in fact a company founded by Faye Rogaski in 2009. Rogaski saw an opportunity to capitalize on New York City parents who fear their children are not developing proper social skills. Her classes teach everything from how to shake hands to how to host play dates. Her classes, however, don’t come cheap. They range from $150 for a one-day workshop to $540 for a 12-week after-school program.

Stand Up When Saying Good-Bye

My mother taught me many different lessons on manners. One of those lessons that really stick in my mind to this day was whenever a guest was leaving our house, she always told us to stand up, shake his or her hand, and say good-bye. Most of these guests would always tell my mother that we did not need to do that and that they did not want to bother us, but that did not matter to my mom. She knew the importance of developing proper manners and communication skills, and so even the small act of standing up and saying good-bye was significant to her.

What I like most about this memory, is that it is a five minute teaching moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. This makes the idea that parents no longer have time to teach their kids manners seem a little ridiculous to me. Instead of blaming kids’ lack of social skills and manners on their constant use of electronics, maybe parents should look at their own constant use of electronics and think about what kind of example they want to set for their kids.

by Lucas Walker


One Response to “Plugged In and Tuned Out”

  1. Sarah Saeli November 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    I agree that children these days are very plugged into their electronics and lose out on learning how to socialize. Oftentimes when I am babysitting, it takes three different attempts to get the children’s attention because they are so focused on the TV. While it seems a bit extreme to actually hold classes to teach children how to socialize, I do think that measures should be taken to address this problem.

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