Manners Matter!

Social etiquette, having good manners, being polite to others and even saying “please” and “thank you” nowadays seems to be part of that “old fashioned stuff” that is no longer put into practice or encouraged. As adults, we feel surprised when we receive a thank you note or somebody politely asks us for a favor, and we have unfortunately grown accustomed to expecting people to just satisfy our requirements. It seems that etiquette and good manners in general do not play an important role in our kids’ life at present, as it is no longer important to many adults, either.

However, being polite is not something old fashioned, and it is our responsibility as parents to make sure our kids are taught the basics of social etiquette and good manners as early as possible. In fact, even though they may not be attending VIP parties, and probably won’t receive invitations from royalty, our kids will definitely be invited to other children’s houses to play, and they will interact with other adults either at school or in the neighbourhood. In these and other similar situations, we expect our children to be polite. Thus, we as parents should really pay attention to this issue and make sure our kids are introduced to the basic principles of etiquette and manners as soon as possible.

Experts in these matters agree on the fact that children who are taught social manners from an early age incorporate them into their personality, and as they grow more mature and older, they come naturally to them. Social manners may not turn our children into perfect little persons but they definitely help them throughout their lives. Social etiquette and good manners are definitely basic skills that are crucial for our kids in varied aspects of their lives as they grow older.

In order to make etiquette a natural and important part of our kids’ lives, there are certain rules we can follow:

  • Start manners training as early as possible: Kids are never too young to be taught good manners. As soon as they can speak, they can be taught to say “please” and “thank you”. They can learn that they should wash their hands before sitting at the table and that adults should not be interrupted when they are talking. If you teach them, politeness will come natural to your child and you will not have to change your kids’ attitude towards their friends or other adults when they are teenagers.  
  • Start with basic manners training: Do not make good manners and social etiquette complicated for your kid. He will have plenty of time to acquire the more complex rules of etiquette later in life. Make sure he understands that saying “please” and “thank you” is important, that he should keep good hygiene, that he should be careful with things that do not belong to him and that he should be open to sharing his educational toys with other kids.

As you reinforce the social manners you teach your child on a daily basis, use a calm and respectful tone of voice. Set the example and they will definitely follow suit.