Good manners and etiquette are a very important part of raising the children. The manners that are inculcated in the young age remains with them forever and also plays a vital role in all areas of their life to be successful. As parents, we need to set an example at home and also set age appropriate expectations for them to achieve. Preschoolers mimic elders, so it is very important for parents and elders to be mindful of the actions they do even if they think the kids are not watching.
Saying- Please, Thank you and Sorry: Irrespective of the place where the child is, house or school, talking to his peers or elders, the golden words should be taught to the kid to be used appropriately. This helps them to learn to treat others with respect for their services and not take anybody for granted. Teaching kids small gestures and words to thank, asking for help by adding “please” or saying “sorry” when a mistake happens is an essential lesson. Acknowledging the help and valuing others’ help or contributions are important . When kids say “Thank you” to the driver of the bus while getting down makes him feel good.
Greeting people- Teaching to say “Good morning”, “ Good evening” , “Hello” should be first taught at home. When parents start greeting kids at home, the kids develop the habit of greeting other elders or friends naturally, then the manners become a part of their habit that the child carries with them to school and later as adults helps them in their workplace and other social gatherings to always be humble and greet and treat others with respect.
Being mindful and helpful in public places- The parents should teach their kids to be mindful of the people around them . While at the shop, if a person drops vegetables or other things, kids should be taught to help others to pick up things for them. We as parents should avoid taking calls or talking loudly in public places. The kids then learn to be mindful of keeping their voices low and be polite in public places like malls, shops etc.
Being compassionate and kind– If a municipality employee is sweeping the road or picking the garbage, the kids can be taught to say “Thank you for keeping our roads clean” as a polite gesture that makes them feel special for the services they provide to the society. They can also be taught to be kind in public buses and metro to offer elders to adjust and sit next to them. This helps the children to be grateful to the people who are providing them the services to the society and mindful of the gestures they need to inculcate to be kind and compassionate.
Using table manners: Discipline and good manners at table are the most essential part of eating habits to be followed. Parents should teach their children to be mindful of others while eating. This can be taught by setting an example by following the table etiquette at the dining table. Talking less while eating, not using mobile phones, not stuffing their mouth and spilling around the plate or walking and playing around while eating are all important things to be kept in mind. Developing good table manners is the most essential part of childhood habits that take them a long way and make them behave well at restaurants as well.
Teaching to share: Kids need to be taught to share and develop caring nature at the same time. Parents should show their children by sharing a book or some other small things with neighbours. The children should be given positive strokes whenever they share the toys with their siblings or play equipment in the park with the other neighbouring kids. This further helps them develop the nature of sharing toys and books at school too and being a good team player at work and in their community.
Children are capable of learning a lot of things at a very young age and as parents, we will be pleasantly surprised to see our kids display manners with the right kind of positive reinforcement.