A friend of mine (who has children) told me about a birthday party magician who came to entertain eight to nine year olds. The around thirty-year-old magician arrived quite professionally with his bag-on-wheels. Once opened, the bag served as decoration as well as storage for his things. Dressed appropriately for every kind of event, the magician displayed tricks that were always impressive. In other words, a rabbit would appear from his hat at the most unexpected times. And much more!
My friend talked about how the magician, who clearly respects his profession, was lost among the crazy tempo of a children’s birthday party and mostly ignored by the adults who embraced the opportunity to chat with one another, whilst their children were occupied. My friend also noticed how some kids would audibly question every trick, say things like, “I can do that too,” or simply ignore the whole show. When my friend—who took the matter to heart even though she saw how the magician acted with much maturity and calmness to every disruption—invited the performer to her own daughter’s birthday party, I had to ask, “what did you do?”
“When it was time for the magician to perform I had the kids sit around the area designated as a stage. I told them to be quiet because we were about to watch something very interesting. I also gave them each a small bowl of chips. And then I reiterated how I didn’t want to hear any noise from them during the performance. They watched the whole show from beginning to end with much interest.”
For those who’d rather not give out chips as part of the solution, dried fruits are also an option. For those who’d rather not limit their child’s self expression, a rule of inside voices can be utilized. But please, let’s find ways to teach our children respect, especially before they reach maturity. Whether it’s a magician, plumber, artist, or doctor, we all deserve some respect when we perform our jobs.