Good Manners Are a Must!

One most important quality a child should have is good manners. Good mannered children are more successful and confident. Good manners help them develop positive family and work relationships as they grow up. They are more likeable and have more friends. Instilling good manners in your child must be started very early right from the time the child starts understanding. When I was growing up one basic manner was: Never call an adult with their first name. Dr./Mr./Mrs./Miss and the last name or simply “Uncle” or “Auntie” were the words prevalent from the place I come from, that’s one reason why I had lots of uncles and aunties! If a child called a grown up with their first name, it was not polite and was not considered respectful.

Using magic words has always topped the manner list – Please and Thank you. Did you think there were only two magic words? Here are two more – Excuse me and Sorry. I wish I could replace all “Yeah!” and “Nah!” with “Yes, Please!” and “No, Thank you!” It will be very pleasant to hear “Excuse me, I’m sorry!” rather than “Huh!” There are other manners like do not interrupt two adults if they are in a conversation. If you are bored listening to them, control yourself, do not say so. Wait for your turn. Think twice before you say something, which includes not using foul language, never make wrong comments and do not call others names. If you want something, ask for permission. If a friend greets you, greet them back. Share with others. Help others. Respect everyone. Be polite.

Handshaking is considered a good manner and good manners are an essential success in the business world. In medieval times, handshaking originated in Europe. People offered a handshake to prove that they are not hiding any weapons. It has evolved over the years. So have manners. They have also evolved over the generations, but it seems like that they are getting eroded amongst the kids. Passing on these manners to the next generation is getting harder. I think our parents might have felt the same. All good manners begin at home. Children like to mimic adults, so we have to be good role models. Never ignore kids’ unpleasant behavior, they should always be talked about it and followed up on the issue in private. Always, praise the child for displaying good manners. Teachers also play an important role. For younger kids, child development professionals and teachers can come up with the idea of 1 manner to emphasize each month. The themes can range from addressing adults, respect, social interaction with friends, using magic words, etc. The advantage of emphasizing one manner at a time will help so that the child does not get overwhelmed with too many. It takes a while to teach kids good manners. So, keep emphasizing on these and they will transform into a good habit. I did come across an activity for older kids (elementary school age), where they had a top 20 manners Q&A in which they were asked if they were practicing those manners. They had to read and check one of the three – often, sometimes or never. The moral of the exercise is good and children are reminded about good mannerisms as a part of the exercise.

I have come across some parents who think today that manners are an old-fashioned concept. They boast of their child being independent and let them misbehave in front of others. Well, good manners will never go out of fashion. They are one of the tools of success for the child. These days respectfulness and courteous behaviors are not very commonly seen amongst children. If your kid will have this rare commodity, he/she will outshine lots of other kids. It’s never to late to start working on good mannerisms with your kids.