Manners and etiquette speaks and does a lot for a child. It shapes their personality and makes them confident about themselves. It is not just an elitist practice – rather it’s a way to show respect, care and make people feel comfortable around us.
It is very important for the kids to learn these basic etiquettes in the initial stages of their lives, since childhood is the time when their brain is the sharpest. Moreover a habit started this early is effortless and lasts forever. So, here are some basic etiquette you can teach your kids.
Saying ‘Please’ And ‘Thank You’
Please and thank you are the two very words which makes one sound polite and chivalrous.
Always prompt you child to add “please” when asking for something, or while requesting someone to do something. And teach him/her to say “thank you”, when receiving something or when someone has done something which they really liked.
A good chore for every young child is to know the ideal table manners. Teach your child to wash hands before and after every meal. You should always him/her them not to talk while chewing, and elbows should always be off the table. And gradually you can start showing the kid how to handle the silverware.
This is something we all were taught from the very beginning. One should not interrupt when elders are talking – in general, whenever two individuals are talking. You must make sure that your child follows this. Since interrupting a conversation is rude and even if they want to make a point, teach them to say “excuse me”.
Greeting and being polite on a call is as important as greeting someone politely in person. You must teach your child to identify himself/herself while placing or receiving a call. You can even practice this with your kids, by making them call you. At least they can start with a ‘hello’ and gradually answer to the requests of the caller. (“Hello?…yes, she is here, just a moment please.)
Saying ‘Excuse Me’
If there is an emergency or something your child has to say which can’t wait while you are in a conversation, teach your child to say “excuse me” to interrupt the conversation and ask for your help. Your child should also know, if they do something like sneezing or burping accidentally, they must say “excuse me”.
Making a conversation or being in a conversation is the very thing your child will need to do almost every time they see someone. And they must do it right. You should always prompt them to look into the eyes of the people while making a conversation. And you must stop them from giving rude answers like “don’t know”, “whatever”. It makes them appear impolite and unfriendly.
Being A Good Guest
When visiting a friend’s house or someone else’s house, you must remind your child to be polite and be thankful for the invitation. You should motivate your child to socialise and meet new people. You must teach them to be at their best behaviour when visiting someone else’s place and respect all the household rules even if they are different from the ones you have at your home.
No Pointing Or Staring
This is the one thing most kids do unintentionally – without knowing that it is a very rude gesture. You must make your kid aware that it’s very rude when you point a finger at someone or when you stare at someone. Let them know if they want to show something, they can just ask you to look in that particular direction.
One thing which kids end up adapting unknowingly, if not from home then from the external environment, is commenting on people. You must remind your child and always correct them about commenting on someone’s appearance, clothes or complexion. They must learn to respect and accept people the way they are.
Knock Before Entering
You must teach your child to knock before opening a closed door. Ideally, you should remind them to ask for permission of the concerned person before entering the room.
Being A Gracious Receiver
You must teach your child about gratitude. Remind them to say thank you whenever they receive a gift from someone. Even when someone comes to your place, teach them to receive the guest with gratitude and give them a glass of water in your absence.
Littering Is Wrong
It is very important for the kids to know that they should always make sure their surroundings are clean. They should not litter wrappers on the road or anywhere else except the dustbin.
Also, remind them to seek permission before doing anything. Most importantly, teach them to be generous to people and animals. Keep in mind that strictness or persuasion plays no role in this process. Being overly strict will only make things complicated and worse. These little ones only need to be taught affectionately.