Thursday, August 22, 2013

Top 10 Manners all Children Must be Taught

Children are like blackboards and it’s what they are taught and what they experience that fills them up. When a child behaves inappropriately it is often unintentional. Sometimes kids just don't realize it's impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or belch loudly in public. And in the hustle and bustle of daily life, busy mums and dads don't always focus on etiquette. But if you reinforce these 10 must-do manners, you'll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child. 

1. Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking. This requires teaching your children what an emergency is if not your little girl will interrupt you when she can’t find her Barbie’s clothes and Barbie is catching cold. 

2. Do not stare. 

3. If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "please excuse me" (in that particular order) is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation. “Excuse me please” just does not have the same effect, that’s just me anyway. 

4. Kids should not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome. 

5. If you are at a performance or your teacher is speaking and you find it boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. Do not yawn. The performers or presenters are doing their best. 

6. Say thank you. Even from a very early age, one can easily teach them to say thank you if they get something from others. It's a basic courtesy that all children should be growing familiar with. 

7. Good table manners. Good table manners are essential. So teach them that they should not make noises while eating, they should not speak with their mouths full and that they must sit properly, so food won't be all over the place. 

8. No profanity. I am horrified when I come across children who use the word piss to refer to urine and shit to refer to number 2. Not to mention when a 5 year old used the f word. Do not laugh and tell the child that you are familiar with the word, but it is not one that they need, because it is not pretty. Warn then to never use such language again. In my primary school the teachers would take you to the bathrooms and tell you they would wash your mouth out with soap and water if you used profanity. It was very scary. 

9. No to Bullying. No one likes to discover their child has been bullied or that their child is the classroom bully. Children like to tease each other, but as parents you must help them find the limit beyond which it is bullying. Bullying is not okay and it should be emphasized from the very earliest childhood. 

10. Apologize. I don’t like it when people don’t have the courtesy to apologize, but this all starts at childhood. Children can be a bit clumsy and have fast movements. But if they walk into other people or fall over things, parents should teach children to say sorry. 

Ijeoma Olujekun

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