Manners are a kind of magic, good or bad, we rely on them to form impressions of one another. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, most parents don’t focus on instilling proper etiquette in their children. So make a change and start teaching them with the 10 manners every kid should know listed down below.
#1 Say “Excuse Me”
Kids are kids – they belch, sneeze and fart sometimes unintentionally and if one accidental action gets laughter or is not met with disapproval it’ll happen again. Let your kids know that these sounds may come across as being rude. When they do this in your presence, look on in mild displeasure and emphasise the use of the phrase, “Excuse Me”. Be sure to reward them when they listen to you!
#2 Ask Permission
Before your child engages in any activity, such as rummaging through the refrigerator for a snack, get them to ask you if it’s okay to do so. This helps them realise their dependence on your leadership and prevents them from becoming wise in their own eyes. It also gives you time to think if you should allow the activity in the first place. According to experts, it’s definitely more effective than disciplining them after!
#3 Say “Please” and “Thank You”
As soon as your child starts speaking, encourage them to say these magic words. As it’s fairly new for a preschooler, it takes time for the habit to develop. Practise what you preach. For example, you can incorporate these words into your daily conversations such as asking your child to come to the table for dinner. Don’t forget to say, “Thank you for listening to instructions”, when they show up cheerfully.
#4 Apologise When In The Wrong
While you may focus on enforcing your child to say, “I’m sorry” when they misbehave, keep in mind that it is only meaningful if they do not repeat the wrongdoing. Mutual respect is vital between a parent and a child, so apologise to your kids when you’ve done something wrong too. However, don’t overuse the phrase or it might appear insincere. It’s far more important to teach them empathy than to force them to parrot hollow words.
#5 Acknowledge Adults The Right Way
It is mandatory to teach your kids the proper way to address adults. You can do so by practicing greetings with them through role-playing. For example, pretend to be different people and have your kids partake in a “conversation” with you, complete with titles and pleasantries. This way, you wouldn’t have to worry the next time they’re in a room filled with adults.
#6 Establish Eye Contact With Others
Having eye contact with someone when you talk to them indicates a sign of social confidence and respect. Kids that develop this ability will be better equipped when establishing good relationships. To ensure your child develops these skills, spend some quality time with them. This includes setting your phones to focus on your little ones!
#7 Don’t Talk When Your Mouth Is Full
Wouldn’t it be unsightly if you talk with your mouth full, causing food to spatter everywhere and the conversation difficult to hear? Well, this is why you should prompt your kids to finish what they’re eating before talking. Also, a child will typically let their mouths hang open while munching and this might seem impolite, so get them to do it with their mouths closed. It may take a while to adapt, but practise makes perfect.
#8 Clean Up After Themselves
Kids are at most times, messy eaters. Sure, you can clean them up, but think of the times when they are guests in someone else’s home. Start by asking them to bring their dishes to the sink and rinsing their plates. As they progress further, get them to help out with the household chores. That said, learning is a long process, so it might take consistent reminders for them to develop the habit.
#9 Learn To Share
If your child is a constant “grabber”, other kids will eventually not want to play with them. It is essential to remind them that sharing is caring. Like the saying, “Monkey see, monkey do”, siblings can also learn how to share from one another. For example, a mother gave her eldest daughter a cookie; she broke off a piece for her younger brother, teaching him in the process.
#10 Have Honesty And Integrity
It might not be easy to always be telling the truth, but lying won’t get you anywhere in the long run. Start inculcating these core values in your children at a young age. Ensure that they stick to their words when they want to accomplish something. If they do end up making empty promises, be firm and voice your dissatisfaction. After all, honesty and integrity are the foundation of one’s character.