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A Note to Parents About Email Etiquette and Politeness

Teaching children email etiquette.

Politeness is defined as “behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people.” That’s pretty much email etiquette in a nutshell.

“Respectful and considerate for other people” applies to everything, from typing in a manner that is easy to read to replying promptly. You know, all the things I write about on this site.

Recently I read a quote from one of my favorite successful authors, Napoleon Hill, that spurred this post:

Politeness usually begins at home or it doesn’t begin at all.

Politeness to others is usually born out of respect for the individual, which you learn as a child. When you are treated with respect by other members of the family, you learn to respect them as well. The self-esteem that results from being recognized as a unique person by the people who matter most to you helps you develop the confidence necessary to succeed later in life.

Politeness and consideration for others are habits that once developed usually stay with you for a lifetime. While common courtesy may seem relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it is a reflection of more basic values. More important, if you develop the habit of respecting others, you are likely to command respect from them.

Napoleon Hill

Boy, could we use more of that in 2020!

When you think about email etiquette, it is about the choices you make regarding how you will communicate with others. Politeness with the written word helps you to be a good friend and a clear communicator.

Someone others look forward to hearing from. So naturally, this becomes even more important concerning emailing for business.

When it comes to email etiquette and using technology, most of us are self-taught. Many of us are already at an age where our parents aren’t going to step in and help us. But, in some cases, we are helping our parents to understand the importance of email etiquette and proper technology use.

But for your children, you can make a difference.

Parenting and Technology

Based on what I see in public, parenting doesn’t seem to apply to smartphones. So how can parents teach their children proper practices such as restraint, adequate time and place, how to communicate properly via texting when they don’t practice the same?

How many of you have seen a family out to dinner, and their noses are all buried in their devices? No one is talking to each other — they are all immersed in whatever is on their phone.

So it doesn’t take much of a leap to think that parents are not monitoring their children’s proper use of technology. At least not enough to consider their email use.

Teaching email etiquette. Really?

Not being taught about email etiquette and how to best use it will harm your children’s future. Try to find a job where email is not part and parcel of everyday job responsibilities.

Imagine how children taught about email etiquette and proper technology use by their parents will have an edge in school. Then that edge carries over to compete in the job marketplace and their career.

Or are you going to wait for teachers to guide them as you do on other topics? (That’s not working out too well on so many levels…. but that’s a topic for another blog!)

Parenting = Guidance

Just like anything in life, it is your job to guide your children. On all levels. Including their use of technology in general and email specifically.

How you choose to use technology, which includes email and texting, reflects on your priorities. For example, do you say or do what you want at the moment or do you stop, think and then do based on consideration for those you are communicating with?

Your children are watching.

Never thought about this before? Time to start coaching your children on email, texting, and technology best practices, so they have a positive experience and increased opportunity for success in school and their future careers.

The ball is in your court…

P.S. Visit NapHill.org and signup for the Thought for the Day daily email message. It is one of the emails I look forward to each day!

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