Good manners and etiquettes are the two most amazing aspects of a character. What are good manners? Having good manners is just being sensitive to the feelings of others. The people who are polite and well mannered are respected by almost everyone. So isn’t this a critical aspect we should be raising kids with good manners? It is very easy to inculcate any healthy habits when your children are young. Their minds are so open to learning and observing and absorbing everything that goes on around them. It is an amazing idea to teach children good manners at home. At home! Yes, everything related to children starts at home.
Teach Children These Basic Good Manners and Etiquettes
Greeting someone you meet – Basic Good Manners In Children
Greeting someone as soon as we meet them comes naturally to us adults. We have seen and observed our parents do this to others. Subconsciously, we and our children pick on such beautiful manners. So how can you consciously teach your child good manners of greeting someone? Start by greeting your child as soon as you enter his room or see him after a while. Generally, kids forget to greet someone or wish someone when they are busy playing or working. You can gently remind them that someone has come to our house and greeting them makes them feel welcomed.
Here in India, when people come to visit us, we greet them and offer them a glass of water. Assuming people have traveled from a long distance and might be thirsty. I have experienced children making and offering lemonades and juices to guests. It feels so amazing to be greeted by such small children with nice gestures. (They did it out of their interest, without being told to).
Parents can start to inculcate this greeting habit right from day 1 of your baby’s life. Begin with simple greetings like morning wishes or saying “Hi baby! How are you?”.
Saying “Thank you” – Healthiest Way Of Teaching Kids Good Manners
“Gratitude is the healthiest of human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar
Saying “Thank You” is the simplest yet most effective manner every child must develop. When do we say Thank you? When somebody has helped us. Teach your child to say “Thank you” on every occasion they are grateful for something. It can be saying “Thank you” to a friend for playing with him, or his siblings for helping him with some work. The greatest way to teach kids good manners is by modeling it at home. Children are observing what you do and say around the house.
Things you can say:
- “Thank you for helping me cook!”
- “I am so grateful to you for helping me out with laundry.”
- “Thank you for being cooperative when I was working.”
Ask permission “May I?”
It is crucial for parents to teach good manners of asking permission before touching anything. Teach your child to refrain from touching anything without permission. In your house your child has freedom. When your child goes to someone else’s home, he needs to understand that touching his friend’s toys without asking him might hurt his feelings. An amazing way to teach boundaries and raising kids with good manners.
Pretty Please – Pretty way of raising kids with good manners
Teaching your children to say “Please” when they need something is an amazing way to teach them to be grounded. Saying please teaches acceptance and respect. Acceptance that I need help and respect that somebody can help me with this. Remind them to say please gently, when they need something.
Things you can say:
“I don’t hear the magic word that gets you help!”
“Do you know what an amazing word “Please” is!”
“You know the word that gets things done happily!”
“Can you say Please?”
Accepting mistake and Apologizing – Teaching children good manners
“It takes guts and humility to admit mistakes. Admitting we are wrong is courage, not weakness.”Roy T. Bennet
Accepting my mistake and acknowledging is the most amazing tool I use to keep myself humble and grounded. Right from when your child is young start apologizing for your mistakes. Let your child see that sometimes grown-ups are mistaken too. Most important, mistakes can be corrected too! It is something that we can use to turn ourselves into better human beings. If your children are in a fight and someone was mistaken, help them accept the mistake and make up for it without letting them feel bad or overwhelmed about it.
Say Excuse me
If your child needs to catch someone’s attention, teach him to say “Excuse Me”. There are many ways of getting someone’s attention and this one is the best one that shows good manners and etiquette.
Do not interrupt anyone when they are speaking
Another important aspect for parents wanting to teach children good manners is not interrupting anyone. All of us adults know how it feels when somebody interrupts us mid-sentence. No one likes to be interrupted. Children are too young and energetic to stop and are mindful about how anybody feels. However, we can start sensitizing them to other’s feelings right from when they are young by teaching simple qualities like waiting for their turn to speak. Similarly, we should display this manner while listening to our child completely when they are trying to say something without interrupting. Slowly, children will start imitating this beautiful quality of not interrupting anyone and waiting for their turn to speak.
Do not engage in hurtful behaviour
How do we respect someone else? By accepting them as they are. No matter how they are. When does someone get hurt? When we say something without considering how they feel. This hurtful behaviour is the most damaging behaviour in anyone. We need to teach our children that it is not good or healthy to say hurtful things to anyone, comment on anyone’s body or display foul behaviour towards any individual. Make them understand how it feels when someone says hurtful things to them and remind them that others feel the same way too. It is good manners for kids to not engage in any kind of hurtful or harmful behaviour towards anyone.
Give compliments – Most Delightful Good Manners In Kids
Who doesn’t love a genuine compliment? I know I love them! Giving someone a compliment brightens their day. Teach your child to give compliments when they see good in someone. The way they talk or dress. Something that they do beautifully. I remember my son telling me once “I like the way you dress me. You do it so gently and carefully! Unlike his Papa who seems like he is in a hurry.” This is the observation of a 3-year-old child. It made my day that he had noticed such a small thing and was okay to tell me that he liked it.
Pay complete attention
Listening to someone and paying attention to them completely is the best we can do for someone. Teaching your kids good manners of listening and being present completely. Model this behavior at home for your child to inculcate it with others. This is how you can raise kids with good manners by being mindful of yourself.
Help someone whenever possible – Amazing way of raising kids with good manners
Helping someone in need or just as a gesture is another good manner to teach children at a young age. Helping someone when in need is a beautiful way of being human. I don’t mean going out of your way and helping. However, small deeds of help can cheer someone and help them have a great day. Opening the door for someone, helping parents cook or do chores around the house, helping a sibling with something are beautiful gestures.
I remember when we were young, me and my sister helping out our neighbors with heavy bags or simple tasks. They would in turn be ready to help us in our time of need. There were many elderly people who used to call me when they needed help with something. In turn, I would get to hear their life stories and wonderful memories. I always get rewarded with a smile even now.
Do not touch anyone without their permission
Everybody has physical boundaries. Parents need to teach their children that “No one can touch you without your permission”. Another important thing to teach is “You cannot touch anyone without their permission”. This is called respecting someone’s boundaries. This is the most important aspect of raising kids with good manners.
An incident I remember when my child used to squeeze his little cousin too hard ( that was his way of cuddling him), which made the little one run away the moment my son would enter the room. What I realized was he used to cuddle the same way with me or his dad, which we did not realize that he does not understand that little children or anyone else may not like it. The change we bought was to remind him to be gentle when he cuddled us and ask permission before he touched anyone. Slowly, he started being gentle with us and his cousin as well. Consequently, they started getting along well after that.
Eye Contact – Teaching Kids Most Meaningful Good Manner
Making eye contact with someone while talking to them is an amazing good manner or etiquette(at least according to me). It makes me feel acknowledged or listened to. Children need to be taught to make eye contact when speaking to anyone around them. Eye contact is the most beautiful thing and connection you establish with someone.
Knock before entering a room
I don’t think I need to elaborate this any further. 🙂
Hygiene – Physical Way Of Raising Kids With Good Manners and Etiquettes
Basic hygiene is an important aspect of teaching children good manners. Basic hygiene includes being neat and tidy, covering up when sneezing or coughing, washing hands frequently. Children like cleanliness and tidiness too. Even in their mess, with toys lying around, everything in one place. Modeling cleanliness behavior can help with inculcating this habit in children. Reminding them to wash hands frequently, having a bath, and putting on clean clothes before meeting someone. Covering mouth with a handkerchief while sneezing or coughing.
It is so beautiful to see children soak up everything around them. More importantly, they are like sponges. They can soak up good water and dirty water as well. So as parents it is crucial for teaching kids good manners and model it around the house. Any change takes time to happen. You might not see any overnight changes in your children. But, after some time you will see the positive effects of the behavior you have been nurturing. I notice my son saying “Thank you for helping me!” during his pretend play.
Check out this amazing article on “Amazing and Sure-shot tips to teach your toddler to follow rules”.