Charming the People: Four Keys to Success

Introducing — Riff — Master Charmer

Riff in my shoes

My four-year-old son, Riff is a master at charming people. He doesn’t need much coaching when it comes to endearing me, his dad, grandparents, teachers, bus drivers, teachers, and friends. His adherence to four basic rules brings him unparalleled success in acquiring treats, toys or special privileges. So, I’ll let Riff take it from here . . .

The Basic Four Rules

Eye on the prize

1. Disarm them with politeness. There is nothing like ending a head-splitting tirade with a calm, sincerely-said please or thank-you. Parents, caregivers and teachers alike will completely forget about the screaming, crying or other horrific noises you just made. As long as your request is somewhat reasonable, the adult in charge will usually cave to your demand.

2. Infect the target population with laughter. When goofing off at the dinner table or in a public place where such behavior is a turn-off, crank the volume on the infectious laughter button. It preserves goofiness and buys more minutes before adults go completely bonkers and bench you.

3. Make big, frequent, movie-star quality smiles. Be good-natured all the time and make those precious smiles radiant. This practice turns heads, makes the ladies swoon, and gets me those delicious, free, cast-off cookies from the bakery at that gourmet grocery store.

4. Build an “A” team of wingmen. It’s never too early to begin considering who qualifies for a position on your team of wingmen. These individuals will help you get a seat next to your favorite girl on the school bus, junk food for all meals when mom is away, and fast rides to where all the action is.

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I am a mom, writer, advocate, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, in-law, outlaw, friend, neighbor, Michigander,sports fan, moviegoer, music lover, novice yogi, sometimes runner and suburbanite of Nashville. I love my husband, children, family, friends, neighbors, home state, adopted state, country, planet, wine, beer, cocktails, coffee and Italian-Irish heritage.