Cover

Entrepreneur Astrie Sunindar-Ratner shares the secret to parenting well-mannered children in her latest series of kid's courses under A–The Etiquette Consultancy

If you’ve met etiquette consultant Astrie Sunindar-Ratner’s children, the first thing you might ask is, how are they so well-behaved? They aren’t just polite in a formal setting, but even when having fun with peers, they are well-mannered and considerate of other children.

That’s why it only made sense for the mother of three to start a children’s etiquette workshop series—and share her personal parenting tips

(Related: How Does Astrie Sunindar-Ratner Transition Between Family And Work?

In August, the founder of A – The Etiquette Consultancy debuted The Kindness Academy, a series of courses created uniquely for children and centred around a philosophy that kindness is at the heart of good manners. “When children are taught to be kind and considerate, they will innately understand etiquette, which is vital for a child’s later success, socially and professionally,” she says.

“I’m a big believer that etiquette should start at home with the introduction and repetition of the magic words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, so children hear these words early on.”

The half-day workshops are grouped according to age: six to eight years old; nine to 12; and teenagers below 16. Besides inculcating the fact that good manners and polite behaviour is deeply relevant in the children’s lives, the courses also focus on the etiquette of digital communications, giving them the confidence to interact with grace, both at school and play, and online and offline. 

While the workshops are designed to be gender-neutral, the International Etiquette and Protocol Academy of London‑certified consultant notes that the delivery format may differ slightly from course to course.

“The course materials and the syllabus are the same for boys and girls. But the delivery of the course for teenage boys is slightly different—I focus more on respecting the opposite sex because boys this age often have a ‘greener’ understanding of relationships with girls. As for teenage girls, my main focus is building their understanding of the value of self-respect.”

There are also shorter sessions—she offers a two-hour afternoon tea etiquette class, where children will learn good table manners over finger sandwiches, scones and cakes. 

For now, The Kindness Academy has no physical presence with the first batch of courses held at Kids21 Club on Dempsey Road. There are plans for other cool locations for future workshops.

Besides conducting the courses, Sunindar-Ratner will also retail merchandise she designed such as placemats, notebooks and stationery on. More importantly, they aren’t just pretty but also include little reminders for children on how to behave properly in their daily lives.