It is very important now more than ever for individuals especially students to learn proper manners and social skills. Competition for acceptance into colleges and good jobs is becoming increasingly tough and those who possess social skills that are well developed and natural, will stand out in the crowd and have a huge advantage among their peers.
Respecting and valuing others, developing high integrity, and making others feel at ease are the key reasons that society practices good manners.
WHY SPEND TIME ON ETIQUETTE?
Most schools emphasize character education. However, education in manners and etiquette lack attention. Because of the time devoted to teaching, there is rarely time to teach on etiquette and manners. It is however good to take to heart the adage that says ‘actions speak louder than words’.
In “Teaching Children Manners” (from the Better Homes and Gardens Guide to Parenting), psychologist John Rosemond declares that you can’t separate manners and respect . He also stated that children can never learn to respect themselves unless they learn respect for others– beginning with adults. His suggestions that can help teach manners are as follows:
More so, Letitia Baldrige shares a strong opinion on the value of manners training. In “Manners for the Modern Child,” she reports her admonition to teach good manners to children to help them develop self-esteem and self-confidence. Baldrige, says that manners, is related to kindness and good human relations. Much of her advice promotes taking advantage of teachable moments, including the following instructions:
The National Association of Elementary School Principals asserts that lack of good manners is a growing problem in classrooms and playgrounds. It addressed the widespread problem of disrespect in a “Good Manners” report to parents. Tips for adults interested in improving children’s social behavior included the following:
To start with, here are 25 manners kids should know
Here are some important tips culled from better child
Mind Your Manners
September 27, 2006
Do your children “lose it” when you’re out in public? You know they can use good manners, but once they step out your front door, does it seem they can’t remember anything? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This can be one of the most frustrating parts of parenting!
Remember, three important ideas shape good manners–custom, common sense, and consideration.
Custom is the habit of doing things a certain way. For example, in Western culture, most adults greet one another by shaking hands.
Common sense is what makes sense to most people. Ask your child, is it polite to push your way up an escalator just because you want to get to the top faster?
Consideration is thinking about the way the other person feels. Being rude to someone is bad manners–not because a book says so, but because it hurts that person’s feelings.
If we teach these basic ideas at home, then our children should behave well in public. But be warned: If you tell your children what they’re supposed to do, then fail to practice those rules yourself – well, your children might just do what you do, not what you say.
Practice what you preach
Here are a few suggestions to help you guide your children to use good manners, at home and anywhere else they roam.
General “out in public” manners:
1. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Don’t stare or make fun of anyone, no matter how strange they may look.
2. Put litter in its place.
3. Say you’re sorry if you bump into someone or accidentally step on someone’s toe.
4. Remember to say please and thank you.
5. Don’t walk in bunches so that you block others.
6. If you need to stop and talk, move over to the side away from the flow of traffic.
Tips for parents: Before you go out, talk to your child about good manners and what behavior you expect. If your child behaves in a rude way, lead him away from other people to correct him. Remind him that he gets to go on special outings when he behaves well.
Table manners for kids (and parents):
1. Swallow all your food before you talk.
2. If you put something in your mouth that’s too hot, don’t spit it out. Instead, reach for your drink and take a quick sip.
3. Ask someone to pass food that is not right in front of you. Don’t reach for it.
4. Sit up straight and don’t slouch.
5. Chew with your mouth closed.
6. Keep elbows off the table.
7. Food is for eating, not for playing.
8. Ask the server to replace dropped silverware. Don’t crawl under the table to get it.
9. Take spills in stride. Let children know you understand their motor skills are still growing. The server will help you clean up.
10. Don’t comb hair at the table.
Tips for parents: When dining out, try to keep your meal schedule as close as possible to the one you follow at home. You might try eating a little early to avoid the crowd. If you have younger children, let them sit facing a window, so they will find something to entertain and distract them. If that’s not possible, let your children sit by a wall or out of the way of other diners.
Keep in mind that all children need frequent reminders, at home and out in public. Praise your children for using good manners. If you only tell your children what they’ve done wrong, they have no reason to behave well. After all, you’re only giving them attention when they misbehave.
Most importantly, model good behavior. Your children watch everything you do. Teaching them to use good manners is not about impressing anyone. Rather, you are building in your child confidence, awareness, and consideration of others. With these tools, they will succeed wherever they choose to go.
Manners are taught as soon as your child understands what you’re saying. Also, children will need coaching and reminders on manners throughout their childhood. It’s best to give positive reinforcement, that is, when your child does something right, let them know. When your child does something wrong, do not be negative about it, but gently tell them how it is best done and why.
10 Basic Manners for Kids
1. Waiting their turn and not interrupting other people when they are speaking. No one can be heard if there are too many voices at once. Gently tell them to wait until someone is done speaking, and then ask their question. Be sure and give your child your full attention when you are done speaking so as to reinforce their positive behavior of waiting their turn. While your child is patiently waiting, hold their hand or put your arm around them to let them know you are aware of their presence.
2. No name calling. Even if it’s in “fun”, name calling hurts. Instead of labels, ask your child to explain what the behavior is that bothers them.
3. Always greet someone when they come over to your house. Depending on your level of formality, you can teach your child to shake hands with adults who come over, but it’s not necessary to shake hands with other children. But, your child should always say, “hello” or “hi” when someone visits so that the guest feels welcome.
4. Say, “Please” and “Thank you” often. It shows respect and appreciation. In addition, if they are thanked, then say “You’re welcome”.
5. Clean up after yourself. Whether at home or at a friend’s house, always pick up after yourself. It’s their mess, so they need to clean it up. If your child does leave a mess, remind them that they need to clean up before the next activity can begin, and stick to it.
6. Good sportsmanship. After playing a game (sports, cards, board game) , no matter the outcome, be pleasant. If your child wins, tell them to not gloat or show off, but be kind. If they lose, don’t sulk or get mad, but be a good sport and tell the other child(ren) “good game” or speak well of them.
7. Take compliments courteously. If someone praises your children, teach them to be gracious and say, “thank you”, and avoid putting themselves down or pointing out flaws.
8. Opening doors for others. When going into buildings, allow elders to go first and open the door for them. When preceding others into a building, don”t let the door slam in the face of those behind, but hold the door until the person behind can grab it. Also teach your children that if someone holds the door for them, then remember to say “thank you”.
9. Exiting/Entering etiquette. Elevators: allow those in the elevator to exit first before entering the elevator. Same with buildings or rooms – if someone is exiting the building or room through the same door you are entering, let them exit first.
10. Respect differences. When people do things differently from your family because of diversity in culture, race, or religion, then teach your child respect. Point out how interesting it is or how different families do different things. Families have their own traditions or rituals and it is important and has meaning for that family.
Instilling good manners in some teens will feel like an almost impossible task, but don’t despair, just keep at it.
You will be surprised how much of your pushing and nagging about being well mannered stays with them.
Good Manners are essential for every child’s self confidence and success in life.[button title=”Click here to enroll your child today” link=”http://enrol.greenspringsschool.com/” target=”_blank”]
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