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The mind of a child is tabula rasa ready to grasp anything that is taught to him. Teaching good manners and etiquette should start as early as possible, so that it can be inculcated in him to carry with him for the rest of his life. Manners and etiquettes are the seed you plant when the child is young and nurture it with love and care to help to grow. These qualities will help him forever in his lifespan.
Saying the Magic words
The easiest way to make your child learn to say “Thank you”, “Sorry”, and “Please” is to make them hear you saying this everyday and in a variety of situations. Actions speak louder than words. By 18 months babies may be able to speak those words but without actually understanding the meaning. But gradually they will link the word to the concept. Teach him that we say “Thank you” when someone gives us a gift or a treat. Also teach them to say “Thank you” for the service provided such as to waiters, household helpers, etc. Likewise teach them that if we hurt someone we say “Sorry”. You can even reach them to write a “Thank you card”.
Basic table manners
Table manners are a critical social skill. Teach them basic table manners such as washing hands before meals, putting napkins on the lap, not talking with a mouth full of food, and clearing dishes from the table. It also involves waiting to eat until everyone is served. No matter if it is a big family holiday or your ordinary family meal, they should be able to handle basic table manners.
Not to Interrupt
It is a known fact that children always try to get your attention. But when they should not interrupt in the middle of a conversation. For them waiting to speak can feel like torture. Teach them if they want to get someone’s attention straight away they should use the phrase “Excuse me”. But then most important is to teach them “Is it acceptable and important to interrupt?”
While you make a phone call, you should introduce yourself first and then ask for the person you are calling. While answering the phone for anyone else, teach then to say ” May I know who is calling so I could tell my mother?” Instead of “Who is this?” That sounds very rude. Also, teach them not to shout across the house for you rather walk over to you to inform you that you have a phone call.
Greeting someone by name is a sign of respect, it makes them feel valued. Always teach your child to greet an adult by name along with initials such as Miss, Mrs and Mr. It is important to always look in the eyes while having a conversation. And they should know basic manners like maintaining polite conversations such as asking the person “How are you?” Or simply able to reply to them politely whatever they are asking.
No comments on someone’s physical appearance
It is very rude to comment on someone’s physical attributes unless it is to compliment, which is always welcome. Never should they say their negative opinions to anyone.
Teach them what empathy means and how this is a treasured quality. Get your child into the habit of helping people. Such as holding doors for someone or helping carry a bag. A helping hand ready to assist is always welcome. This also teaches them to be kind towards others. This teaches them compassion.
When going out with parents, a child should learn to be patient instead of running around, causing troubles. When meeting relatives or going to someone’s house, they should not be prying around the house or touching things. Many people see this as a lack of manner.
The reason why many young people today do not know much about etiquette is that as a child they never learned it. In schools, the overburdening of the syllabus leaves no time to learn such basic manners. Many schools do have a value education class but that remains the most neglected subject. That is when we as a parent should come forward to teach our kids the basic manners.