We live in a crazily, busy world, where basketball practice, playdates and music lessons come before some of the more crucial life lessons: Manners.
So maybe we need to remind ourselves that our children will someday become the future politicians, entrepreneurs, parents and leaders in society. Their success in life is directly related to what we instill in them now. So let’s make teaching manners to our children a priority. And if we’re not teaching them this, they’re certainly watching us. So let’s be good models to our children.
This topic of the importance of manners became bigger than life after recently observing my teenage son negotiate a business deal with an adult more than 3 times his age. I was amazed not only how Will spoke to this businessman but also how he listened intently to him.
Will listened more than he spoke and when he did speak, he allowed a few seconds of silence before he jumped right in. What I would consider awkward silence, my 15-year-old son strategically used to choose his words carefully. As a result, my son ended up with what he considered a great deal for a business he dreamt about since he was 11.
Here’s what I learned from watching my son. He showed confidence with his calmness and listening skills. As my husband and I stood in the sidelines allowing our son to lead the discussion, he spent the first 30 minutes listening to what the seller had to say which led him to ask the really important questions.
Although Will knew his mission was to take over this small arcade from the seller, he said he walked in with an open mind and wanted to gather information before making a final decision. After nearly an hour of listening to everything we all needed to know about the business, that’s when we asked the seller if he could allow us some time to meet privately before making an offer.
As my husband and I sat down with Will, we then began asking Will all sorts of questions. “What do you think? Which machines was he interested in purchasing? What would be his offer?” We also reminded Will of all the responsibilities that come with owning a business which he is well aware of since he’s been running 3 online businesses.
Before Will would confidently make his offer, he reminded the seller that he wanted to make this transaction as easy as possible for him knowing the hard work behind having to sell each machine individually and the time it takes to do so. The seller would than make his counteroffer. Will paused for several seconds before responding, “Why don’t we meet in the middle….” The seller then agreed and Will shook his hand.
To be calm, collect and confident. Traits we can teach our children. We must do so repeatedly. The earlier the better. And the reward comes when we watch our children acting out everything they’ve learned in real life situations. Hopefully, they’ll make us proud.