The differences Prince William would have found in Japanese Etiquette

When you are travelling around the world it is always a good idea to do a little resarch about the etiquette of a country before you arrive. Etiquette varies widely from culture to culture. What may be perfectly normal in one country can sometimes be completely misunderstood in another; it may even be insulting. When you visit a country, natives always appreciate if you have learned a little before you arrive about their language, their culture and their etiquette. Slurping soup in Japan is considered polite In Japan it is polite to slurp soup – if you did this in Britain you could get some long stares from shocked faces! If you leave rice in a bowl in Japan, it means you would like some more – if you did this in Britain people would think you have had enough to eat or you couldn’t manage it all, and you would not be offered more. A weak handshake in Japan is good manners Recently when Prince William visited Japan, he would have needed to spend some time learning about Japanese culture and etiquette. Although bowing is considered normal in Japan when greeting someone, a handshake is also acceptable which is why we would have seen Prince William shaking hands. The Japanese tend to give a very weak handshake and do not meet the eyes of the person they are greeting. However when Prince William met Empress Michiko he both shook her hand and bowed; he did not look at her eyes or face, he lowered his eyes. His respect for her looked genuine and she gave him a very...

Chinese New Year Celebrations 2015 in London

The annual festivities for the Chinese New Year in London are the biggest globally outside of China and 2015 will be no different. The main celebrations begin at 10am on Sunday 22 February on the north side of Trafalgar Square where the parade commences. Between 12 noon and 1pm the Dragon and Lion Dance will be performed in the square and the Lion Dances will continue all through Chinatown until around 5pm. It’s a family event not to be missed with some 100 restaurants offering special menus all decked out with traditional Chinese New Year decorations and many providing varying forms of entertainment.  There will also be the usual multitude of craft stalls offering souvenirs of the event. Red Envelopes and Wood Carvings In China it is traditional for red envelopes with cash inside to be given as gifts to family members and friends but some restaurants will be giving the envelopes to their customer containing vouchers  for drinks or selected dishes.  It’s likely that the craft stalls will be selling lots of wooden carved items since 2015 is the Year of the wooden Goat which only occurs once every 60 years. The grand finale will be in Trafalgar Square from 5pm to 6pm when Holby City’s Dr. Tara Lo (Jing Lusi) will host the ongoing entertainment which includes the Red Poppy Ladies percussion group and Cultures of China – Festival of Spring. Free entertainment for official events The official events and entertainment are free so Chinese New Year provides a  great opportunity for families on tight budgets to spend time having fun together without it costing a fortune....

Dining Etiquette Classes at the Millennium Bailey’s Hotel South Kensington

According to a survey conducted in the East Midlands by the British Heart Foundation children pester their parents to buy junk food. This apparently applies to more than 50 percent of 2000 parents who participated.  The study was conducted prior to Heart Month in February. Their children, none of whom have not reached the age of 16 attempt to cajole them into buying junk food that they see on television advertisements. 37% of these children apparently pester their parents on a weekly basis, at least once. 3 in 10 parents are reported to have told the survey researchers that advertisements for junk food cause them difficulty in encouraging their children to eat more healthy food options In consequence, the British Heart Foundation wants to stop junk food advertisement appearing on television prior to the 9pm watershed and is pressing the government for the ban. Should parents be blaming TV ads for their children’s love of junk food? What is interesting about this is that parents appear to be blaming television advertisements rather than their own parenting skills. Children should not rule the parents! There is nothing in the study that includes information on how many times per week the parents eat unhealthy takeaways and I would be very interested to know that. How about you? The BHF appears to place the total blame on advertisements for junk food whether on the television or on the internet.  Hence to ban junk food advertising prior to the 9pm watershed is not necessarily going to have an effect, since they will still appear online at any time of the day or night....

Birthday party etiquette for parents

All children love to be invited to a birthday party no matter how young or old they may be. However, for the parent who is staging the event, it can be highly stressful not because of the perception of badly behaved, rowdy children but actually because of their parents. Why? There are some simple rules of birthday party etiquette that many parents just don’t know so here are some guidelines that will help to ensure that you and your child will always receive party invitations in the future. Always RSVP It is extremely important to let the party host know whether your child will be attending or not. One of the top complaints from children’s birthday party hosts is that parents either leave it to the last minute to accept or don’t respond at all.  This means that the host has to spend time chasing them for a reply to ascertain how much food is going to be required, paper hats, little party gifts etc. Not sending the RSVP but arriving anyway This is worse than not turning up at all because since the party host may not have catered for your child.  It is very rude to do this and only serves to annoy. If you have ever organised a children’s birthday party you should know how important it is that everything runs smoothly and all children are catered for. Turning up with more children than are invited Every parent knows how difficult it is when only one child in the family is invited to a birthday party. Trying to explain to a sibling that they have to...

Changing childrens’ behaviour so christmas doesn’t have to be cancelled

Recently, in the news I saw that an American couple from Utah had been struggling for months with their children’s misbehaviour. They felt their children showed a lack of respect and they were ungrateful with an attitude of entitlement. Having warned the children, over a 7 month period that their behaviour would have to change or they would suffer the consequences to no avail, the parents decided to cancel Christmas. As can be expected their three sons aged 11, 8 and 5 did not react favourably to this decision and shed quite a few tears. More joy in giving than receiving Lisa Henderson, the boy’s mother, decided to teach her children that there is more joy in giving than receiving; so she helped them write a letter to Father Christmas asking him to deliver their Christmas gifts to those who would appreciate them more. In addition the family embarked on charitable acts collecting unwanted clothes from their local area and donating them to a charity in the Philippines that would distribute them among people who had suffered the effects of last year’s typhoon. Children were motivated Her sons Beckham, Caleb and Davis soon became motivated when the first boxes had been packed and sent by mail.  The cost of mailing was quite high so the children learned that by giving the clothes to people who needed them, they also had to give up something. Whilst the children will receive gifts from other members of their family the hope is that the children will appreciate them more than the usual larger amount of presents. In addition, on Christmas Day in...

Over protective parents do not enhance a child’s life skills

Many people might have noticed this weekend that Tesco have decided to place newspapers out of the eye line of small children so that only the front page headlines can be seen. This has apparently come about due to pressure from the “No More Page 3” and “Child Eyes” campaign groups. Whilst this might be a good thing considering some of the things that appear on front pages of newspapers nowadays it does make me wonder whether we are generally becoming too over protective of our children.  Many young adults of today in their early 20s are desperately lacking life skills according to a recent study conducted by Sainsbury Finance. Young adults including university students are so reliant on their parents it is quite alarming. For example, many don’t know how to cook having never tried to and 14% don’t have a clue how to boil an egg; their laundry is often still done by parents, they don’t do their own cleaning and often someone else does their shopping for them. When to stop holding your child’s hand This is not just confined to the UK. In the United States  university lecturers are bombarded by calls from parents complaining about the grades their children have achieved (or not as the case may be). Bear in mind this is not school, it’s university!  In addition, one in ten graduates from US universities wanted a parent to “hold their hand” at an interview for their first job. And amazingly, some parents actually complied! When you consider the self-reliance prevalent in previous generations where perhaps our grandparents lived through a war and...

Etiquette Classes help children to develop a moral compass

Earlier this year the chairman of the Independent Schools Association, Richard Walden, said that “too many amoral children” were being turned out by State schools.  His view was based on a belief that teachers are so focused on results that they have no time to teach children basic values. Whilst head teachers of State schools didn’t agree with him one has to wonder what is going on within the state education system when a ‘Traffic Light Tool’ produced by Brook (a sexual health service) has been sent to all schools as official guidance to teachers. I have to admit to being rendered speechless when I read that teachers should consider that it’s normal for 13 year olds to be having sex, not least because it is actually illegal in the UK. However it seems that Nick Clegg among other ministers has endorsed the online resource. The detail of this guidance can be seen in the graphic below.    Moral virtues are necessary to live harmoniously in society Most teachers, educational thinkers, child behavioural therapists, family coaches and parents believe that at the moment children are born they are helpless and require adults to care for and guide them up to the end of their teens and sometimes longer.  Children need to be taught how to live harmoniously in society since it is not a trait they are born with. Schools throughout history have been charged with developing intellectual abilities of children as well as moral virtues which include: Honesty Responsibility Respect for others If it is a fact that teachers in state schools don’t have the time to teach...

Do we influence our children’s use of technology?

Technology is a wonderful thing and no one can doubt that we are in an age where communication has never been better.  We have the internet, email, text messaging, iPhones, iPads, iPods and laptops with new stuff coming out almost every month. However, watching us throughout our daily lives almost having to have our communications technology surgically removed from our grasp, what message is this sending out to our children? Tech engineers limit their children’s use of technology According to Steve Jobs of Apple fame we shouldn’t let our children use iPods or iPads which is quite astonishing considering his occupation.  His children have limited access to technology at home and many computer and software engineers feel the same way; preferring to send their children to schools where there is no technology.  There aren’t many schools nowadays that are committed to hands on, as opposed to technology orientated learning. The CEO of 3D Robotics, Chris Anderson, has 5 children and stated ““My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules…  That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology first hand. I’ve seen it in myself; I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.” Many of us, whilst maybe not aware of it, are addicted to our chosen communication technology and this means that we may unwittingly pass this on to your children. Whilst we might have died for something that would help us study for our tests and exams, that didn’t involve wading through heavy encyclopaedias, our children...

Bad behaviour is on the increase in schools

The renowned children’s charity Barnardo’s stated recently that problems at home or special needs may be the cause of unruly, bad behaviour of children at school. The charity believes that schools are not doing enough to address the root cause of such behaviour. According to statistics from the ODE (Official Department for Education) the number of children requiring more support and assistance to deal with problems is increasing. Children with SEN (Special Educational Needs) are 9 times more likely to be expelled from school. Teachers don’t have an easy job Whilst Anne Marie Carrie, the CEO of Barnardo’s acknowledged that teachers don’t have an easy job, she said that it was essential they looked behind the behaviour. She stated “The most ‘out of control’ children may be the most vulnerable children facing horrendous problems at home. “Pupils may also have undiagnosed special needs, and the earlier these are identified, the better chance they have to reach their full potential. “We believe that education and a stable home are vital if children are to have a chance at overcoming disadvantage.” The charity believes that children who are dealing with the problems of domestic violence or parents who are addicted to drugs will often be badly behaved. Groups of children in schools with extreme behaviour The Government’s “behavioural tsar” Charlie Taylor stated there were groups of children in schools “who show very extreme behaviour, very difficult, challenging, violent behaviour”, when he addressed the Commons education committee recently. He said that these children were often quite young and their numbers were growing. Mr Taylor does not believe that the basic standards maintained...

Correct Etiquette for Burial Grounds

There are certain standards of behaviour for children deemed appropriate for practically every aspect of their lives but there is one form of etiquette that few adults know, let alone children. This came to light recently amid claims in Scotland that tourists had been having picnics on a war grave and many people were extremely upset about it. The most common reason for people to visit cemeteries is for funerals and to visit their deceased loved ones. However, there are also people researching headstones or occasionally walking through burial grounds just passing through or sometimes to sit in a peaceful place. So what is the correct etiquette for burial grounds or cemeteries or burial grounds? It’s not always clear what behaviour is appropriate. Recently in Wimbledon, South London, at the invitation of St. Mary’s Church, car owners parked their cars between the headstones which enraged locals and some residents are concerned that burial grounds will become self-appointed playgrounds for children.  The church charged £20 per day for tennis fans to park in the cemetery stating that since the graves were in excess of 200 years old there would be no living relatives to be offended. However, given the reaction of the general public the scheme was short lived! Etiquette for Burial Grounds Burial ground etiquette is defined by a number of things including local and national law, common sense and convention. Governed by the Local Cemeteries Order (1977) of England, Scotland and Wales there is some legislation related to conduct. This includes creating a disturbance in a churchyard, committing a nuisance, wilfully interfering with burials or graves, or playing...