Practical Dad

What Do I Have To Teach Them?  (Part 4)

One of a father's biggest jobs is to teach his kids.  Teaching situations are presented almost everywhere if you learn to look for them but some of the best teaching opportunities occur when you're traveling with the family.  During a Christmas trip to New York City, the opportunities abounded.

  • Many restaurants post their menus outside for potential customers to review the meals and costs.
  • If you enter a restaurant and the staff presents a limited menu verbally without benefit of presenting a printed menu, prepare for an expensive meal.
  • If there's even hint of snow, take snow or hiking boots as well as hat and gloves.
  • Who was Raoul Wallenberg and why is his name on a sign near the United Nations?
  • What are appropriate tips for wait staff, doormen and hotel maids? 
  • Is it ever appropriate to stiff the staff?
  • How can I tell which direction is south in the afternoon?
  • How are $1200 English handmade wingtips different from Payless wingtips?
  • How do you protect your wallet, whether it's in your pants or in your purse.
  • How do you say no to someone hustling you on the street.
  • If you need to ask how much something costs, you probably shouldn't  buy it.
  • Shoes by Prada are something you shouldn't even ask about in terms of price.
  • If a store is having a 70% off sale, how much was the mark-up prior to the mark-down?
  • Which fork is used for an appetizer or salad and what's the purpose of the spoon above my plate?
  • Placing the used utensils on the plate at the four o'clock position is a signal that you're done with your plate.
  • The hotel and wait staff do remember customers based upon how they're treated.
  • How to hail a cab.
  • How to handle the tickets and seating on the train.
  • Why trains really are superior to airplanes when the option is available.
  • Is there any real value in the number of security/surveillance cameras on street corners?
  • How to handle sore feet and muscles.
  • The use of pockets in carrying additional gloves and knit hats.

The education is both verbal and non-verbal and occurs even when you don't realize it.  Whether you realize it or not, they're watching and they're learning from almost everything that you do.

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