“Good manners are appreciated as much as bad manners are abhorred.” – Bryant H. McGill
Good manners are a basic code of conduct that teaches a child the right way to behave in a social environment. This learning is crucial for developing a pleasing personality and socially acceptable demeanor. Besides, it helps put social skills and moral values into practice.
A child needs constant motivation, guidance, and support for the development of good manners. In this post, we tell you about manners, their importance for children, and the easy ways to inculcate them in your child.
Importance Of Teaching Good Manners To Children
- Teach the child to behave respectfully and courteously with everyone, including those younger than them.
- Make positive relationships with elders, peers, and juniors, essential for personal, social, and emotional development.
- Enhance confidence and self-esteem by developing a socially appreciated demeanor.
- Boost communication skills that are necessary for academic and professional growth of the child.
- Raise a responsible child who puts moral values in practical use and takes socially accountable decisions that benefit the society.
- Shape a positive personality that keeps a child happy and motivated.
Ingraining manners in your child is an evolving process, and it needs time, patience, and persistent efforts. Following some simple ways and the right approach can help you do it with ease.
Ways To Teach Good Manners To Children
- Practice what you preach as children learn from their parents and families. So, be their role models and set the right examples by greeting your elders, friends, family, and even strangers with kindness, compassion, and respect. Be accommodative to others’ requirements.
- Teach moral values that form a basis to choose the right attitude and behavior. Instilling self-control, compassion, kindness, and empathy teaches a child to stay calm and respond positively towards others even when they feel anxious, impatient, or angry.
- Help them practice their learning in practical situations. Guidance is required on practicing table etiquette, keeping oneself clean, talking politely with others, and seeking permission wherever necessary.
- Acknowledge good manners and praise your child whenever they practice it. Share it with other family members and let them appreciate the child, too. It will help boost the child’s self-esteem and confidence, and motivate them to do better.
- Give constructive feedback to correct a behavior whenever necessary. Do not shout or be aggressive to correct the mistake. Instead, discuss negative behavior that you observed and suggest ways for improvement.
- Use different media smartly to help children learn manners. Rhymes, poems, moral stories, and cartoon shows can help your child learn manners joyfully. All they need during this process is your guidance.
Following these steps persistently can help children learn good manners effectively.
25 Must-Learn Good Manners For Children
1. Be kind and helpful to all
Be kind, helpful, and empathetic to another person’s problems and provide prompt help without any prerequisites. Sharing food with a classmate who forgot to bring his/her lunch, helping an older person cross the road, or assisting their mother in daily chores are some acts that can guide your child to be helpful.
2. Be polite to everyone
Politeness is a vital social skill that teaches your child to acknowledge another person’s feelings and talk respectfully. Be it a face-to-face conversation or phone call, teach your child to talk soft and clear. Motivate them to use words like “thank you,” “sorry,” “please,” “excuse me,” and “may I” in their daily conversation, from a young age.
3. Be honest in every situation
Teach honesty to your child by always being honest with them. It helps them observe and realize the ease of accepting mistakes over covering up and lying. Also, praise your child for their honesty whenever such instances occur and share how proud you feel.
4. Practice sharing
Sharing one’s belongings, time, or other tangible and intangible items is an essential part of social living. It serves as a mark of care and compassion that boosts socio-emotional development. Participating in charity activities and sharing favorite toys/books/foods with siblings, cousins, and peers are a few ways to make the learning real.
5. Make introductions
Making a proper introduction is an essential social skill that provides a way to initiate a conversation with others. Greet the person, share your name, and ask their name – these are the basic steps for children to progress towards more formal introductions. Motivate your child to introduce themselves to guests during social gatherings.
6. Listen carefully and wait for your turn
Listening carefully to others and taking turns to talk demonstrate respect for the person and the conversation. Teach your child to listen patiently from a young age as it helps in self-regulation and proper communication.
7. Make eye contact while talking
Making eye contact while talking is a sign of attention and respect towards the speaker and the conversation. Teach your child to avoid looking away, fiddling with hair, or chewing their nails during a conversation. Show them how doing so looks disrespectful and rude.
8. Respond to a question promptly
Responding to someone’s queries is a sign of acknowledgment and respect, whereas ignoring it is considered bad manners. Train your child to respond promptly by practicing the same with them. Listen to your child, acknowledge what they say, and respond appropriately.
9. Seek permission before taking anything
Asking for permission is a mark of respect to the individual, their personal space, and privacy. Knocking the door before entering someone’s room, seeking permission before using someone’s belongings, like phone or pen, and starting a formal conversation with words, like “shall we start” or “may I” are good examples to follow.
10. Cover mouth while coughing or sneezing
Coughing and sneezing are potential ways of spreading infection. Thus, covering your mouth using a napkin, handkerchief, or mask while sneezing or coughing is considered good manners. Teach your child to practice this habit from a young age.
11. Learn to seek apology
Sneezing between a conversation, burping during a meal, laughing aloud at a quiet place, and breaking an item by mistake are instances where seeking apology is a mark of respect. Guide your child to use words like “excuse me,” “I am sorry,” “I apologize,” and “pardon me” whenever such instances occur. Tell them that an apology is a way to acknowledge mistakes respectfully.
12. Do not stare or point at anyone
Children stare and point at things or people out of amazement or curiosity. They are not aware that doing so can make someone feel uncomfortable and intimidated. Therefore, it is important to tell them that staring and pointing at others is bad manners.
13. Take care of elders
Caring and respecting elders is essential learning that makes a child responsible and dependable. Helping parents in daily chores, like folding clothes, cleaning the house, cooking food, and setting the table, are examples that children can follow.
14. Do not make fun of others
Laughing at someone’s weaknesses or bullying them for fun is insensitive, disrespectful, and hurtful. Teaching compassion, kindness, and sensitivity can help a child acknowledge others’ flaws and weaknesses respectfully.
15. Practice phone etiquette
Greeting the other person on a call and listening to them carefully while they talk is good manners. Instruct your child to keep their tone soft and voice audible while talking on the phone. For closing the call, help them practice words, like “goodbye” or “thanks for calling” appropriately.
16. Use honorific titles
Encourage your child to use honorific titles, like “Mr” and “Ms” before calling an elder by their last name. Honorific titles are used to refer to a person with respect. In some cultures, calling “sir” or “mam” may be preferred. So, guide your child appropriately.
17. Follow sportsmanship
The sportsman spirit is all about acknowledging another person’s success with grace and humility. This ethical practice makes a child disciplined and resilient to avoid negative emotions, like jealousy, hatred, and revenge that might lead to unethical behavior, like cheating.
18. Do not mistreat differently abled
Individuals with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory disabilities are known as differently abled. Teach your child to treat such people with compassion, kindness, and respect to make them feel confident.
19. Be a considerate guest
A good guest adheres to their host’s house rules. Speaking and listening to the host respectfully, observing and following their table manners, helping in household chores, and thanking the host family before leaving are a few examples to discuss and put to practice from a young age.
20. Never argue with elders
Arguing with elders should be discouraged from a young age. Encourage them to practice self-regulation, patience, and perseverance whenever they experience frustration towards a decision made by elders. Motivate your child to share their issues, concerns, and problems through healthy discussions.
21. Follow table manners
Guide your child to follow table manners and etiquettes from a young age. Begin with simple rules, like not to speak while chewing food, put a napkin on the lap, chew with your mouth closed, say “please pass…” if you need something, etc. As the child grows, progress towards formal rules, like the correct way to hold a fork and knife, etc.
22. Do not use foul language
Young children observe and imitate what they hear or see. Therefore, refrain from using foul language or inappropriate gestures in front of the child. Children may pick foul words at school or while playing with friends. Teach your child never to use such words. Discuss and explain how foul language can be disrespectful and hurtful to others.
23. Maintain adequate hygiene
Washing hands before and after meals, washing fruits before eating, not spitting on the roads, throwing waste in the dustbin, etc., are some basic habits that are considered good manners. Guide and train your child to follow these habits to become a socially responsible individual.
24. Write thank-you notes
Writing a thank-you note is an important social etiquette that shows your gratitude, respect, and affection for someone’s gift or service. Involving your child in writing a thank-you note can help them understand its importance effectively.
25. Return the borrowed items
Whether it is a pencil, pen, dress, book, or lunchbox, train your child to return the borrowed item as soon as its use is over. Remind them to thank the person who lent them the object. Practicing this basic habit is considered a good manner since it displays courtesy.
Learning good manners is an evolving process that requires guidance and support from parents, families, and educators. Persistent efforts and patience are necessary to practice good manners in a practical setting. During the process, mistakes and errors are obvious, but continuous guidance and encouragement are the keys to success.