Having a courteous, kind and an empathetic kid is probably the best reward for the efforts that go into parenting. Every parent loves to spoil their kids with love and wealth, but the onus is still on them to raise a polite, responsible, loveable being by manifesting the right manners and etiquettes. Most of the kids know that the language of politeness begins with ‘Thank You’ or ‘Sorry’ – but honestly, there are tons of manners for them to learn as they sail on their journey of adulthood.
Often times now a days, kids think of being courteous as a sign of weakness’, but truth be told, isn’t it just charming to see a child who looks you in the eye and wishes you a good day “old school style”. No matter what their peers may say everyone secretly find it comforting. In today’s world of cyber existence, this much lost foundation of character and personality development is a real inhibitor to social skills. Which is why we have compiled these 8 golden rules that we think really work:
- Meet and Greet
Whenever you are heading to meet someone and have your kids with you, urge them to greet with a smile and a Hello! For eg. If their aunt is visiting them, then remind them to say something like, ‘Hello Aunt Jamie! How are you doing?’ or if they are passing by someone they know, make sure to wave or at least nod as part of a greeting gesture.
These little things really do make a difference as they become habit and don’t feel so awkward or out of the ordinary anymore
- Express Gratitude
Gratitude makes way for more happiness and opportunities. It can be taught in the most easier way to the kids and helps them in the long run too. For e.g. ‘When your kids are over at their friend’s home for a playdate, then ask them to thank his or her parents for having them over and for the good time they had. But don’t stop there, always check if they offered to help cleanup .. it’s not just the words you want to teach them. Actions oftentimes count more than words and make a memorable impression as well.
- Stand to show respect
Call it old school, but manners like these are really important for our kids to learn. They should at least be aware of the etiquette. Educate them, encourage them to try it and see if it sticks. Opening the door for someone more senior than them or standing up to shake someone’s hand are just pleasant things to do.
- Change the subject politely
If your kids find some discussion/ activity boring, then teach them to politely change the subject rather than interrupting or disengaging. It can be good to say something in closing about the topic at hand before moving to something else For example, your kid could say ‘Glad, you got the opportunity to watch the tennis finals – I hope to see it with my dad next time too. Speaking of games, did you see the baseball league yesterday?
- Do not point or stare at people
Pointing and staring at people just because they behave or look differently, is just the worst possible thing your kid could do. But often and especially with younger kids it is not because they are rude but just curious. Let them ask you what they want to know and them show them how to behave in such a situation. Help them understand how it would feel to be in the other’s shoe – And how would they feel in the same situation?
- Knock on the door before entering
Teach your kids to knock on the door before entering any room/ place. Don’t just let them barge in, instead have them seek permission and wait, before someone allows them to come in! Apart from this, holding the door for the people shows how considerate you are in terms of respecting people…and oh by the way, this is one where you need to do the same as a parent entering your kid’s room no matter how young they are. Habits get formed early remember?
- Staying seated while eating
Running around the house with food in hands and spilling it all over the floor and couch is something you should avoid from the very beginning. Make sure they are properly seated and know the basic table manners like – how to sit properly, when and how to use forks and spoons while eating (if necessary), keep a napkin on their lap and use it to wipe mouth when required (a demo by you would we very well appreciated for them)
As you sow, so shall you reap! When it comes to teaching kids to be respectful and sensitive to other people’s needs, start early and make it a priority for you and them. Use these 7 golden rules and let us know in the comment section, if you have anything to contribute to it.