All parents want their children to be well-behaved in social settings. The best way to help your child succeed in this area is to teach him or her proper etiquette and manners. Encouraging courteous behavior will help ensure your child respects peers and authority figures such as teachers and coaches.
While kids should be able to enjoy their childhood, teaching them that there are appropriate times and places for proper manners is important. Below is a list of five essential manners and ideas for encouraging each:
- “Please” and “Thank you” – Teaching children to say “Please” and “Thank you” before and after receiving something is no easy feat. However, by incorporating these words when talking to your child, he or she will being to see the pattern and corresponding reaction. When your child asks for something and does not use the “magic words,” remind them of “Please” and “Thank you.” Wait until they have asked correctly to give the reward. Also, do not forget “Excuse me” and “Sorry.”
- Proper Table Manners – When you child forgets to say “Excuse me” after a burp, or begins to chew with his or her mouth open, gently remind the child of the proper behavior. Being a model of good table manners is one of the best ways for children to learn how to behave while eating.
- Turn Off Electronics – Today’s children are tied to technology. There is a time and place for technology, but Christmas dinner at a relative’s house is not it. Let your child know that there are times to play on the iPhone, and that there are times to engage in conversation with others.
- Telephone Etiquette – Children listen to adults take calls all the time and will be a quick study when learning how to answer the telephone. When your child becomes old enough to take phone calls, provide opportunities to practice a friendly phone demure.
- Spreading Kindness – Letting your child know that it’s important to demonstrate kindness to everyone is an important step. Opening doors for others, saying “Please” and “Thank you,” and using polite words are all simple ways that children – and adults – can show kindness to others.
Being conscientious of others lies at the root of all societal manners and etiquette. When we are conscious of the feelings and preferences of others, we demonstrate respect for those around us. The most effective approach to instill good manners in your child is by being an example of proper etiquette yourself. Cultivating good manners takes time, but the rewards of a respectful, well-behaved child are endless.
For more tips and ideas about teaching manners, check out these great articles:
6 Tips on Raising a Well Mannered Child
Manners Matter: 10 Manners Every Child Should Know
It Still Matters: How to Teach Good Manners