A well-mannered person who is polite and considerate of others is a pleasure to be around. Well-mannered people speak gracefully and treat people around them with respect. One’s behavior speaks a lot about his or her upbringing. This is why your child’s behavior is a reflection of your own. Children tend to mirror our behavior, so when a child misbehaves, people may look to a child’s upbringing and the impact their parents have had. You can’t always be blamed when such mishaps occur. And being able to keep an eye on your child’s behavior at all times may be close to impossible. This is why instilling good manners in your child is important. As a parent, the best thing you can do is model good manners and teach your child how they are expected to behave at times when you’re not around. Exhibiting good manners will help set your child up for success in the future. Keep reading as we go over six good manners to teach your child as early as now:
The Golden Words
As early as they can speak and understand its concepts, teach your kids the five golden words and use this lesson as often as necessary. These are: please, may I, sorry, thank you and excuse me. Make it a point to do favors and grant your child’s requests ONLY when they say “please” or “may I”. This may be a simple rule but it teaches them to respect others by asking politely and asking permission for something. “Sorry” is another golden word we use to apologize for hurting others and to admit when we are at fault. Being able to admit blame reflects the humility of one’s character and is important for keeping peace with others. Saying “thank you” must also be a common practice for children. Keep in mind that there is no limit to the amount of thanks one can give, and teaching your child to be grateful is a good way to form positive relationships with other people. Lastly, saying “excuse me” is one way to politely get another person’s attention.
Putting these words into practice at all times is the key to building the habit of speaking politely in all circumstances. You’re doing a great job if you’ve already started teaching these kind words to your child. So give yourself a pat on the back because you’re on the right track. All it takes is your patience, practice and consistency.
You may remember your parents scolding you at some point and telling you that it’s rude to interrupt. While that may be true, it’s also important to be mindful of your words and actions when teaching your kids the same life lesson. Children are excellent observers, which is why it’s critical to set yourself as a model of good behavior and manners for the sake of your child. You can tell them not to interrupt when speaking with others, especially with elders, but make it a point to also do the same when it comes to your own interactions.
Be respectful of other peoples’ opinions
The world has evolved to be more inclusive and open to various ideas and opinions. Individualism has become more widely advocated and we live in a time where people have become more socially aware. Any topic can spark conversations where people voice heir own opinions, so be sure to teach your child that everyone is different and each person is entitled to his or her own opinion. While it’s important to teach your children to be vocal with expressing their thoughts, it’s also valuable to train them to be respectful of other peoples’ opinions. Teach children to choose their words carefully so as to not offend others, and to be polite when having disagreements.
Permission to come in
Another point of teaching basic good manners to your child is to ensure that they respect other people’s space and privacy. This includes teaching your child to knock on doors and to always ask permission to come in before letting themselves into someone else’s room or home.
Use of phones
Smartphones have greatly changed the dynamics of how people communicate and seek entertainment in the modern world. While we may allow our children to have phones in order to communicate, it is important as parents that we regulate their phone use. Take time to set rules for when children are allowed to use their phones. It’s okay to allow them to play games and watch YouTube, but set limited timeframes. When possible, do not allow phones at family meal times. You can even stretch that policy to extend through bedtime. Technology is good, but anything that inhibits your child’s productivity and performance at school isn’t. As the saying goes, moderation is key.
Meal times are the best times
Meal times present a great opportunity to practice good manners at home. When your family is gathered together for a meal, use that time to engage in interesting conversation. Share thoughts and observations. The table is also a great place to practice saying “please” and “thank you” when passing around dishes. Sitting at the table together provides an opportunity to practice table etiquette and remove any sort of distractions, such as phones and television. Meals are also a great time to catch up and get together with your kids in the midst of a busy week. So take that opportunity to do these things. Not only will your kids come out practicing good manners, but they’ll also remember these precious moments when they grow up.
Need more great parenting advice? At Handprints Academy, we’re always happy to help. Visit us today at Handprints Academy or call (214) 984-3952 for more information.