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Good Manners That You Need To Teach Children!

A well-behaved child (or adult) is most likely a legendary figure. It is natural to make mistakes when engaging with people, and it is critical to use those experiences as teachable moments for youngsters.

Who doesn’t want their children to be well-behaved? Yet you may sometimes observe the child interrupting a conversation, being rude to another child, and more. There could be many reasons why a child isn’t displaying good manners. First things first, children learn things by observation. It could well be that they are exposed to an environment where they do not have the best role models. At other times, bad manners may be a result of the fact that they aren’t receiving positive reinforcement when they display good manners. Remember also that children sometimes may display bad behaviour only to get attention from you, even if the attention is negative. It is imperative that these issues be kept in mind as we try to impose good manners on children.

When teaching good manners, it is also imperative that we use age-appropriate language and offer consistent reminders. Yelling or the use of punishment may not get us very far, as it has the potential to turn children into rebels. Above everything, if you really want the child to imbibe good manners, you must become a great role model for them. It is through observation that they will mimic these manners in everyday life.

Raising loving, well-mannered children can be difficult, but there are a few guidelines that might assist.

1. Saying Please and Thank You

It is imperative to teach the child that saying please and thank you when asking and receiving something, is important. It is when you instill these values in the child early that the child will not grow up with a sense of entitlement. However, it isn’t enough to give the child a set of rules to follow. The child needs to see other adults modeling this kind of behaviour, not just with other adults but also with the child. You could also teach the child the lesson of gratefulness early by drawing their attention toward the many things that they have been blessed with. Keeping a gratitude jar, for instance, can go a long way in instilling this feeling into them. At the end of the day, you could make it a family routine for each member to drop a note into the gratefulness jar, listing the things that they are grateful for that have transpired during the day.

2. Waiting for your turn

Social etiquette demands that children be taught to wait for their turn. This could be in terms of making conversation where they should not interrupt others or in matters such as waiting for their turn for the swing while playing in the park. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough, especially as we witness a society today where aggression is par for the course. A word of caution here- the idea is to teach the child to be assertive and not passive about their needs while being mindful of others.

3. Ask for Permission

The child needs to be taught to ask for permission in situations such as when they want to use something that doesn’t belong to them. You also need to have standing rules around asking for permission if they want to purchase anything, for instance.

4. Greetings

Manners for preschoolers also demand that they greet others when they meet them, and also answer people’s greetings politely. Once again, needless to say, children are likely to forget what you teach them, but they will imbibe what they see around them. If it is customary for all members of the family to greet each other as they wake up in the morning, it goes without saying that the child will imbibe it without you even having to tell him.

5. Maintaining basic hygiene

Children need to be taught good manners related to basic hygiene, such as washing hands, covering their mouths when they sneeze, throwing garbage in the bin, and more.

6. No Foul language

With young children being exposed to television, the internet, and more, they are picking up the use of foul language very early. First things first, ensure that you do not use any foul language around them. Ensure also that they have age-appropriate exposure to mass media. That said, you cannot always ensure that when they are out in a public place, they will not be exposed to foul language at all. In such cases, how you react will go a long way in passing the right message to the child. It is important to explain to the child in such cases that the use of foul words is a bad habit for children and that it amounts to being disrespectful to others.

7. Be Empathetic

Once again, this is something that you can ensure by demonstration as opposed to words. Helping others in times of need, and not using mean words so that people are not hurt are aspects that you can demonstrate in day-to-day life, for the child to mimic.

Children also must be taught not to bully or tease others. Calling anyone names or making personal remarks on their appearance is a strict no-no.

8. Learning to apologise

Proper etiquette demands that children need to be taught early that it is absolutely okay to apologise about any mistake made and that an apology doesn’t in any way make them less dignified. This isn’t just good manners but a life lesson which, when taught early ensures that they do not grow up to be toxic adults. For children, seeing is believing. Once again, therefore, it is when they see you walking the talk that they can imbibe this. If you have made a mistake, therefore, don’t shy away from owning it. It is the best lesson you can offer the child.

To Sum Up

These seemingly simple manners, when taught early, and, more importantly, through modeling good behaviour, can go a long way in becoming part and parcel of a child’s life. That said, there will be occasions when a child will misbehave. In such situations, it is important to understand the reason behind their misbehaviour as opposed to jumping ahead and punishing them. While disciplining children is important, the use of the right discipline tool is even more important. Pro tip- When necessary, use consequences that are age-appropriate. Also refrain from making empty threats. Once you do set these consequences, follow through on them.

At Footprints, a play school chain that has emerged as a preferred parenting partner, our emphasis is on the holistic development of children. Teaching them the right manners and equipping them with age-appropriate life skills is an essential part of our curriculum.

Here’s to raising a generation that is confident in their own skin and empathetic towards others!

Post Author: Purvesh Sharma

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