“Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” or “Please,” are just some of the kind words that parents teach to their children. The reason is – good manners show good behavior. But why do people bother? What benefit has it to offer, and why is it important to teach children good manners?
Adult Actions and Children
Parents and teachers want to see their children and students well-behaved at all times. For this, it’s only proper to begin teaching good manners or etiquette at a young age. These are not old-school rules but the fundamentals of right conduct.
It’s not difficult to teach manners to children if you lead by example:
- Not barging in when someone is talking
- Saying “Excuse Me” when interrupting someone
- Say “Please” when requesting something
- Not chewing food with the mouth open
- No elbows on the table while dining
- Keeping an “inside” voice when indoors
- Helping the elderly open the door
- Cover the mouth when you sneeze
If the parents talk with a loud voice inside the house, the children may pick up the same behavior. Although different moods at home can dictate manners, it’s the way people around them act that shows the elements of good behavior and how to apply them in life.
==>>Learn the etiquette of sending emails, too! Check out these 12 golden rules.
Why Is It Important to Teach Children Good Manners?
It Helps Kids to Be Considerate of Others
Kids learn the meaning of saying “Thank you, Mom” or “I’m sorry Dad,” at home. These are among the sweetest words a child can utter that make life more delightful. When children start to show politeness, they also learn to pay attention to the needs of others.
Different people move in different life directions. They have their own share of concerns. If by chance they receive even the tiniest act of kindness such as being greeted with a “Good morning sir/ma’am,” or offered a seat on a bus – such actions may send a positive impact on them.
When a child believes that he or she is capable of being kind, that attitude of graciousness likewise enlightens dispositions in the social world. It helps treat others with a politeness that makes them feel good about themselves.
They Help Promote Respect for Other Cultures
The world is composed of different cultures that strongly influence everyone’s uniqueness. Etiquette helps people respect various traditions and accept ethnic diversities. This gives credence to these differences.
When two children have different beliefs, respecting each other’s philosophies, through which they identify themselves, helps them to meet halfway and preserve cordiality. Biases may come up, but understanding that each is special, they are able to communicate better and clearly.
It helps them respect their environment
Teaching environmentally-friendly habits promote creative thinking and inspire kids to become more engaged in helping to save Mother Nature. Whether at school, at home, at the mall, the park, a restaurant, or even in the church; each entity has its set of practices that endorses well-being, eco-friendly and sustainable lives.
This act of reverence allows children to choose the right thing to do in their community. They will be willing to adopt how to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as they can. They will realize the importance of throwing plastic snack bags in the right receptacle. They might even help pick up after their mess to ensure their surroundings are clean.
Good Manners Build Self-Confidence
When a child thinks, acts, and behaves appropriately in any situation, she will discover positive qualities that can help her believe in herself. She is able to communicate better by breaking down realistic doubts. This empowers self-assurance.
In your class, how do you feel about a student who sits up straight and listens? What about one who says grace before eating lunch? You feel joy, right? Since the child is perceived as more capable, she helps others realize the value of doing the same.
It Prepares them for the future
Growing up with acceptable manners equips the child for better opportunities in the future. From friends, classmates, teachers, colleagues, love relationships, bosses, and future partners – she earns stronger connections and trust.
The good impression built will make her a role model not only for the younger generation but for her community. If others look up to her – that is because of her attitude. Such behavior and good traits will go a long way in endearing herself everywhere she goes.
Watch this video about Good Manners vs Bad Manners.
At What Age Do You Start Teaching Manners?
As early as pre-school years, children can already understand good manners. Simply teaching them to say good morning, good afternoon, or goodnight is already interacting with others politely.
Children a little older than 1 year can learn the first fundamentals of etiquette. Even if they don’t yet understand the principles of saying “please” or “thank you” when appropriate, the kind acts will instill social graces in their young mind.
Easy to learn manners include what to say when being introduced to a new individual, what to say when they answer the phone, what to say when someone gives them a gift, or what to do when they don’t like something they are served for lunch.
When adults around them model appropriate eating manners such as “Please pass the salt,” or “Can I have some fish, please,” children will eventually use these manners, too.
If many people today complain about the lack of etiquette among the young, the more need for parents and teachers to seriously consider teaching good manners at a young age. It sounds not fair blaming the adults for such unacceptable conduct, but if you have been too lenient in teaching good behavior at home – then adults share a part in this failure.
The more you can show children the importance of good manners in life, the more they will learn to adopt good behavior. The whats and whys of good etiquette will equip them wherever the situation brings them.
Do you have tips on how to teach good manners to young children? Share them with us in the comments.