Want to train your kids in the art of etiquette? Read on
Teaching good manners to our kids is a simple way to instil the values of kindness and respect - which the world needs now more than ever. Good manners is a lifestyle choice. The earlier this training starts, the better for the child. Children can adopt good behaviours at a very early age, thanks to their ability to watch and internalise.
As a parent, teaching your child good manners is one of the most important jobs you have. Your child's behaviour represents your values at home. Just like any lifestyle choice, start with the basics of polite mannerism and they will eventually become habit. The important thing is to be consistent.
A few simple tips for children's etiquette for parents and caregivers:
1. Parent to baby: The quickest way kids learn is by watching their mums and dads. Good upbringing starts very early and very carefully. Remember, humility, compassion, and kindness should be a lifestyle choice, which should be instilled at a very early age. You walk the talk as a parent. Children pick up behaviour - good and bad! - very quickly. The age of 0-7 are the formative years, and this is the best time to instil the importance of good manners in them. It gets tougher to do this as your child grows. That's way instead of sending your children to child etiquette classes, I recommend parents do a children's etiquette course. A consultant would guide you from the very beginning.
2. Don't spoil them at an early age: Nobody is to be blamed for entitled behaviour in children except parents themselves. Spoiling children can be quite damaging in the long run. They will be brought up to be entitled young adults who may not have the world as their oyster forever. Yes, it gives parents enormous happiness to shower gifts and pamper children, but instilling values of humility, gratitude, and kindness will only be effective if the child practices a similar lifestyle at an early age.
3. Magic words: Teaching them to use kind and polite words while interacting with others are an easy way to portray good manners and is bound to leave everyone with a pleasant feeling. Role-playing can help your child feel more confident in greeting people. Our heart melts when we meet a polite adorable child, who says hello or offers a cute "thank you", doesn't it? Magic words can include: hello, please, thank you, sorry and excuse me. They show a sense of responsibility and even strangers will appreciate your parenting.
4. Teach patience: Patience is a virtue many of us lack even in adulthood. It is, however, one of the essential attributes in life. It can seem torturous for a young child to be patient, for example, when he's asked to wait his turn to speak in a conversation. Teaching them to wait patiently without interruption will take longer for a child to make it a habit; you may need to remind them verbally initially, but rest assured, practice will make perfect!
5. Table manners: If the child is old enough to hold a toy, then you can give him/her children's cutleries, and encourage them to eat by themselves. Dining etiquette starts with children eating by themselves. Avoid hand-feeding so they avoid getting used to it. Table manners are a critical social skill. Children as young as three should be encouraged to mind their manners around the dinner table. Lovingly reminding children not to talk while eating, or with a mouthful of food, to put their napkins on their laps or even using the magic words in conversation at mealtimes will be a good start for table manners for kids.
Till next week, #beextraordinary.