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Bright Sparks | Etiquette Will Make Your Son A Better Man - Part 2


A recent study found that boys can be as mean as, well, mean girls. Teach him that he needs to be aware of when good-natured teasing has crossed the line.


It's not just pornography our boys need to learn to resist, it's the risk of being on their devices 24/7 while life and opportunities pass them by. Set limits for your son's screen time and explain to him why you're doing it, so that when he's in control of making his own choices in this area, he'll have the information he needs to make good choices.


We don't want our sons to be that room-mate in college who's a huge slob. We want our boys to know how to clean, cook, and care for themselves. That means they can do their own laundry, make their own doctor appointments, and grocery shop for themselves.


Good manners and ease with others don't come naturally to most boys. Teach your son to have a firm handshake, to stand when a woman or older gentleman enters a room, and how to have a basic conversation. When someone says, 'Hello', he's to say hello back while looking them in the eye. If they ask, 'How are you doing?' He should answer and then ask them, too. It's little things like this that will help your son navigate the adult world smoothly.


Teach your son the importance of being a man of strength - strong in his convictions, strong in his dependability, strong in his faith. Give him the tools to make him feel strong and able. A good place to start is by building up the right kind of self-esteem.

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Bright Sparks| Business Etiquette - The Edge Over Your Competition


Etiquette is one of the most often overlooked facets of successful business. A new generation of business owners and employees, from large corporations to small companies, seem to regard manners in the workplace as passé . Presenting themselves with polish and professionalism is not a concern. Treating customers, clients and colleagues with respect and courtesy have no value. These people are blind to the fact that they are losing business everyday by ignoring the details that build relationships and drive customers to their doors.

In the best of times, etiquette can give you the edge over your competition. In difficult times, manners will set you apart. There are any number of companies that can offer the same services and products as you. The critical difference is ultimately how you make people feel when they do business with you. Manners are the missing link. Excellence in etiquette will send you over the top.

So how do you create a culture of courtesy in business?

You make etiquette a value at every level of your organisation. Everyone plays a role. Executives and business owners model good manners. They treat their employees with kindness and respect. They provide them with training in business etiquette. They recognise and reward those employees who present themselves and the organisation with polish and professionalism.

Here are some of the areas where successful business people focus to achieve excellence in etiquette:

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Bright Sparkes | Etiquette Will Make Your Son A Better Man - Part One


We should parent our boys with an image in our minds of what we want them to be like at age 25. If you have a young son, many of his current qualities will serve him well at age 25: his kind heart, his witty humour, and his ability to play sports well.

But there are other qualities that won't go over too well in the life of a 25-year-old man: his inability to get his dirty clothes into the hamper instead of on the floor, his reluctance to do his chores instead of putting them off for "later," and his tendency to act before thinking.

If you're raising sons, let me share some very important etiquette life-lessons to teach him. How to express himself.

Talk to your son one on one. Engage him in conversations and help him put words to his feelings. My wise uncle put a list of banned phrases on his refrigerator when his son became a tight-lipped teen: "I don't know. I don't care. Whatever." These conversation-avoiding words were banished.


Being able to work hard isn't just good for our sons' futures in the working world, it's good for their self-esteem now. A job done well makes a boy feel capable. So give your son the opportunity to see a project through, on his own, from start to finish.

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Bright Sparkes | Ladylike Traditions That Still Apply Today (Pt 2)


11. She RSVPs promptly, reads an invitation thoroughly and does not ask for exceptions. She always promptly sends a detailed 'thank you' note to anyone who has shown her hospitality.

12. She never arrives empty-handed. Bringing a small hostess gift shows your appreciation for the preparation your host has done.

13. Her word is her bond. A lady warrants a respectable reputation purely by the consistency of her word. She always keeps her promises.

14. Don't call him, he'll call you. A lady knows that she deserves to be pursued and does not do so. If you are in the position that you have to initiate contact in order to communicate, then you should know that you are not dealing with a gentleman and can move on.

15. Time frame: no one gets to call you on a whim to hang out. Your time is precious and valuable and you are clearly booked days in advance. Someone who honours your time will plan ahead and ask to take you out with at least a 48-hour notice.

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Bright Sparkes | Etiquette And Ladylike Traditions That Still Apply Today


(Part One of two parts)

Acting like a lady is carrying yourself with dignity, which also empowers a man to be a gentleman.

Many of us want a true gentleman, but I believe we hold the power to the way we are treated in our hands. It's the law of attraction and common sense: If we want a gentleman, we must be and act like a lady.

In all areas of life, I believe being a lady displays self-respect, class, appreciation, and etiquette. It also allows you to enjoy the niceties of life with the ease of knowing how to act in all situations. You don't have to come from wealth or be wealthy in order to conduct yourself like royalty.

After doing some new research and also recalling my background, which includes etiquette certification, here are 21 lost lady-like traditions that still apply today:

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Bright Sparkes | Etiquette - A Lost Art


It's good to be back after an unavoidable break; my sincerest apologies to our readers and followers of this etiquette column. As I focused on our etiquette summer camps, it became more apparent to me that etiquette has become a lost art.

As much as I hate to admit it, and as earnestly I have sought evidence to the contrary, rules of etiquette have become anachronistic. Etiquette is dead. There are no rules.

Maybe we'll crack open a dusty reference book to remind ourselves of table settings for fancy dinners, or to seek guidance when planning something monumental and public, like a wedding, but the strict rules that governed the everyday are gone.

Do I address my neighbour as Mr Johnson or just Thomas? Do I hand the tip to my hairdresser or leave it with the receptionist? Is an email an acceptable thank you note, or does it have to be handwritten? We make these decisions on a more personal, individual basis, whereas in the past, there was one comprehensive set of rules to which anybody with a little class knew to turn.

Today's successful etiquette guides aren't really guides at all, but, instead, rants against the rude behavior of the masses.

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Bright Sparkes | Summer Etiquette For Children


It's summertime and with that comes the young folks out and about doing their thing. I'm all for having fun and enjoying your summer, but what I'm not for is anyone participating in any behaviour that devalues them or their growth, not to mention that could lead to violence. Here are a few habits that I have noticed that young people engage in, and they intensify when the summertime hits. This is a short list. If you see young people engaging in there, feel free to tap them on the shoulder, especially if the young ones are your children.


I hate to see toddlers and young boys walking around in the summertime with their pants sagging and no shirt on. Ensure that your little boys put a shirt on. It doesn't matter how hot it is. There is no need for a five- or six-year-old to be shirtless outside of his house. At this point you probably choose his clothing. He does not need to mimic the older boys in this fashion. The truth is many of the older boys who do dress in this way are not the best role models to mimic.


At a certain time of night, there is no need for your child to be outside hanging out with you and your friends. This type of erratic schedule is what limits children and prevents them from being able to maintain a regular schedule when they are older. Or it prevents them from assimilating into a responsible member of society. They are unable to adjust to going to bed at a certain time and waking up in time to start their day because you never showed them how.


Get your teenagers away from the corners of streets late at night. I repeat, please forbid your kids from hanging out at all hours of the night. Why? This is the time and place where foolish things happen. Sometimes that foolishness leads to fighting or even violence.

Summertime is the ultimate celebration for children. They want to soak up as much fun as possible. We should, however, make sure that our fun doesn't come at the expense of someone else's.

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