There's a great power in being polite. It enables you to present yourself to your best ability and allow others to feel respected. It makes interactions smoother and kinder. It makes us feel good and others too.
Being polite is easy. And can have a BIG impact.
I noticed that at times in daily interactions with children some of them were not using the wealth of little ways to be polite- please and thanks you's, a genuine compliment, eye contact, smiles, little offers of help and support. I thought they might need a little nudge to make it fun. And on the other hand there were lots of children who loved being polite and I thought it would be wonderful to create something to give them some praise.
So, in my usual style, rather than looking at what I could do with a small group of young people I work with, I leapt in with both feet and aimed to change the world!
8 years ago WORLD POLITENESS WEEK was launched!
And my goodness, it really did take off!
Over the years I received submissions for all over the world including Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand! Schools and families and clubs have been involved. They have shared how children have focused on being polite during this week and that it has developed new skills and awarenesses which have been developed after the event. We started a movement.
SO ARE YOU READY?
World Politeness Week 2023 is taking place between Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd April.
It's simple to take part! You can do as much or as little as you want!
Just encourage your children or children you work with to be polite during World Politeness Week with one or a variety of polite acts. Get them to record what they have done through a video, poster, picture, story- or you record it yourself.
If you would like to share with me you can post on any of my social media channels (The Children's Coach on Facebook and Instagram, Joanna Bivens on LinkedIn) or through email email@example.com
Over the past year I have been delivering a Kindness Club Project with a big hearted group of Year 6 girls at Ormiston Cliff Park Primary Academy. I asked them if they would like to be involved in some way in World Politeness Week, and they were very excited! They have created a fabulous book for children called Politeness Pups. They did it in black and white in case any children wanted to colour it. You can download for free from my website in the 'Created with Young People' Section.
This can be used by schools or in the home to provide some structure if you want to take part for the whole week. I brainstormed with the OCPPA Kindness Club girls and we came up with a super theme and activities for each day-
DAY 1- Use Polite words
Challenge- Use as many polite words as possible in the day.
Explore why it is important to use polite words. Brainstorm which are polite words and phrases eg please, thank you, excuse me, sorry. Make a chart on the board and tick them off every time they are said. Encourage the children to use in the breaktime and over lunch and report back.
DAY 2- Spread Smiles
Challenge- Spread smiles around the whole of the school or family today!
Ask your class what makes them smile. Write or draw their ideas on the board and leave it there for the day so it is the smile board. Read them this poem and set them the challenge of spreading smiles first around the class, then the playground at break, the dinner hall at lunch and to everyone they see!
DAY 3- Compliment people
Challenge- compliment as many people as you can today!
Create a Compliments Circle with the class. First everyone is to share a compliment about how the person looks e.g. I like your shoes, Your hairband is lovely. Then the second time they complement people on their personality. Eg you are very kind, you are confident, you always do your best.
Day 4- Help People
Challenge- help as many people as you can today!
Discuss different ways that we can help each other at school. Tick them off on the board when they happen during the day.
Day 5- Bringing it all together!
Challenge- today use polite words, compliment people, help people and smile!
Talk about how it has felt being polite this week. What they have found difficult, what they have enjoyed and what they want to do more of.
Good question. You receive our thanks for your support and the knowledge that you have been part of a worldwide initiative to make our world a politer and consequently kinder place. There is a certificate on my website that you can download in thanks and recognition of this.
Thank you for your interest and taking part. Remember, you could do this as a one off activity, or for the whole week, with your child, your class or the whole school! Whatever is best for you!
Let's continue this momentum and make a positive change for a politer world for us all.