Teaching children good manners should never be underestimated and is an important aspect of school and home life. “Say thank you,” “Sit up straight,” “Shake hands,” “Say please”…Most of us heard phrases like this as we grew up. . But why do we bother? What is so important about teaching manners, anyway? For one thing, having good manners meet a social expectation – kids are expected to have good manners, and they and their parents earn more respect when they do. Another thing to consider is the role good manners play in your children’s future.
At the heart of good manners is a respect for oneself and others. Good manners convey a sense of respect for the sensibilities of other people. When you say “thank you,” you’re taking the time to make the other person feel appreciated. Saying “please” respects a person’s right not to do what you’ve asked (it’s not so demanding with a “please” attached).Good manners also show that a child listens to adults and does what he is taught – these are good character traits that teachers and other authority figures appreciate. Manners convey quite a bit of information!
We do our children such a big favour when we teach them good manners. Good manners set a standard of behaviour against which other behaviour can be measured, which helps keep order and civility in society. So it would seem that teaching kids good manners has significant implications. But how can we do this?
- Have high expectations of behaviour and manners at home and not just when you go out. Don’t expect your child to have excellent table manners when you dine out, if at home, you have not worked at establishing these.
- Be an excellent role model- treat people well, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, apologise for any mistakes and be helpful and respectful of others. Modelling good manners is key- children learn by observing others and mimicking their behaviour.
- Encourage them to write ‘thank you notes’ and letters for present they may have received. Always make sure they do this soon after receiving gifts. This teaches an appreciation of others and value for what they have been given.
- Explain the importance of saying ‘goodbye’ to someone who is leaving the house or a party and always expect them to do this.