Your Charming Child:Cool Charm School – Donna Bostany and Lisa Butowsky Teach Kids about Manners and Social Interactions

 Your Charming Child Workshops begin  this  August in Hoboken

By Sally Deering

Donna and her sister
Sisters Lisa Butowsky and Donna Bostany teach etiquette to children, from good talble manners to fighting off bullies.

Teaching children how to behave in social situations runs the gamut from handling a salad fork to a nasty bully.  And that’s just what Donna Bostany of Union City is prepared to do as she launches her new business, Your Charming Child, an etiquette training program for children 4 through 12 that her sister Lisa Butowsky started a year ago in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Bostany and Butowsky are Certified Etiquette Consultants trained at the International School of Protocol in Hunt Valley, Maryland, who teach manners and social skills to kids so they can become good citizens of the world. The sisters started teaching the classes to children in the Bucks County area and are now branching out to towns in Hudson.  On Mon, Tues, and Wed, August 5, 6, and 7, at the Hoboken Man salon, Bostany will teach her first series of etiquette classes to local recruits.

“Good manners help you make good decisions when dealing with other people which leads to respect for others as well as self-respect,” Bostany says. “By having good social skills, one does not need to engage in risky behaviors, but finds that popularity comes from being a good listener, a good friend and someone who makes other people feel at ease.”


Donna Bostany goes over a lesson plan for  Your Charming Child
Donna Bostany goes over a lesson plan for
Your Charming Child

Studies have shown that children are more open to etiquette instruction when taught by someone other than a parent, according to Butowsky and Bostany’s website,  At a younger age, children are more receptive to learning and retaining what they have learned.

Both sisters are extremely qualified to teach etiquette to kids. Along with their certification at the International School of Protocol, Butowsky holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University; and Bostany holds a BA in Theater from Penn State. Recently, the sisters collaborated on the children’s book SAY NICE THINGS, which teaches empathy and tolerance and touches on the problem of bullying

“The workshops will build your child’s self-esteem throughout his/her life leading to success in school, the workplace, and social settings,” Butowsky says. “Having these tools will encourage your child to be more respectful and helpful at home as well.  We strive to make learning fun through demonstrations and role playing and we keep our classes small for more individual attention.”

The two-hour workshops are held over three days and divided into Social Skills, Communication Skills and Table Manners. In Social Skills, children learn how to meet new people, make eye contact, interact and avoid rude behaviors like eye-rolling, littering and wasting.

“This is a world of interaction and although it’s great to have an iPhone and iPod, there’s nothing that can take the place of eye contact,” Bostany says. “We are dealing with the technology generation.”

Children learn electronic etiquette in the Communication Skills workshop as well as listening/not interrupting, meeting people with disabilities and more. In Table Manners, it’s all about selecting and handling utensils, table behavior and conversation.

Bullying which is a controversial social issue is addressed in the Social Etiquette workshop.

“A child was sharing how his classmates tease him about his clothes, hair, his laugh – and he’s only in first grade,” Butowsky says. “We gave him some options on how to handle these kids like: ignoring by giving your ‘bored’ face or walking away; showing confidence with posture, facial and body movements; speaking up with several clever comebacks; and getting support from your parents and teachers. “

Your Charming Child workshops focus children on the importance of social interaction and help them develop self-esteem, Bostany says.

“Emily Post said, ‘Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics, it is honor’,” says Bostany. “Putting the other person first, considering their feelings gives the child self-respect and the ability to respect others. It’s all about relationships with your parents, your teachers, peers. It’s about how you behave and interact in those relationships. You’re judged by your social decorum. We teach not to judge because people look and act differently, but you are being judged by your social behavior.”

If you go:

Mon, Tues, Wed, Aug 5 6, 7, 9-11 am
Mon: Social Skills; Tues: Communication Skills; Wed: Table Manners
The Hoboken Man

1150 Maxwell Lane


(201) 601-0305

[email protected]