Displaying good manners is a vital part of life. They are a sign of respect and consideration for others. Good manners are also an outward manifestation of our values, principles, and beliefs. Exhibiting kindness can mean a world of difference between being liked or disliked by others. Whether you’re interacting with friends, family, or strangers on the street, your social interactions will be much more pleasant by simply following some basic rules of etiquette. When it comes to children, in particular, teaching good manners is absolutely essential. So which manners are important for every child to know? Read on to find out!
Saying “Please” and “Thank you”
Saying “Please” and “Thank you” are two basic manners parents should teach their kids from an early age. When we say “Thank you,” it shows that we appreciate what someone has done for us. It’s also important to make sure your little one also practices saying “Please” when he or she asks for something. It’s a good idea to practice both of these frequently at home.
For example, when requesting a glass of water, remind your child to say, “Please” upon request, and “Thank you” after receiving the water. Model the same behavior yourself so that your child will be more likely to follow suit.
Asking permission before taking something
Another important thing for children to learn is asking permission before taking something. Children need to understand that they shouldn’t take anything that doesn’t belong to them. Whether they wish to borrow a toy from a peer or borrow a sibling’s bag, children need to know that it’s not acceptable to take items without the consent of the owner. Not only does asking permission first show respect for another person’s belongings, but it will also help your little one avoid unnecessary conflict.
Saying “I’m sorry” when they make a mistake
We all make mistakes from time to time. It’s important that children are taught how to give a genuine apology when they hurt someone or make a mistake. Learning how to say they’re sorry teaches kids about the importance of empathy. At the same time, apologizing also teaches children how to take responsibility for their actions.
Additionally, teach your child about the types of circumstances in which these words may apply. Children need to understand that it’s not permissible for them to deliberately throw their toys on the floor and say “I’m sorry” afterward. We want them to develop a sense of accountability and responsibility for their actions, especially when these actions affect others.
Respecting our elders
Learning the importance of showing respect for our elders is also an essential part of displaying good manners. Whether children are interacting with their parents, grandparents, or other adults, it’s important for them to learn what speaking and acting respectfully look like.
You can also further encourage this behavior by setting a good example yourself. For example, it’s beneficial for your child to observe as you hold a door open for an older person, or assist an elderly individual while crossing the street. These simple gestures help children see some of the ways they can show kindness and respect to their elders.
Taking turns during a conversation
Teaching your child to wait for his or her turn to speak during a conversation is also a polite virtue. Doing so teaches kids the importance of letting others share what they want to say or express their own needs without interruption. Not only is letting others have their turn to speak an important aspect of good communication skills, but it’s also a sign of respect for the other person who is speaking.
Being kind and compassionate
Learning to show compassion and kindness to others are key habits for children to develop. In addition to making them feel good about themselves, exhibiting kindness and compassion also helps us create healthy relationships with others.
As a parent, the best way you can help your little one show kindness and compassion for others is by modeling what these things look like firsthand. Remember that your little one may not fully grasp these concepts immediately, so it’s best to set a positive example with your own actions. Even if it’s something as simple as sharing some of your food with the homeless or donating items to charity, these gestures can go a long way when it comes to letting kids see what it means to be kind and compassionate.
As parents, part of our job is to raise well-mannered and considerate individuals. Set your child on the path to practicing good manners by using this guide.
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