Can you imagine your child as an adult, about to go into a job interview?
Can you picture your son having dinner with his boss and work associates at an upscale restaurant?
What about your daughter? Can you see her meeting clients when she’s a lawyer or marketing manager?
Will your kids have the essential skills and manners they’ll need in their adult life?
It’s time to think about the future of your kids and prepare them for it by teaching proper manners. Having good manners is a basic need for anyone who wants to get along with others – in the family unit, in the neighborhood, in school and in the world at large. Children don’t enter the world with good sets of manners. They must learn them and practice them from the time they’re babies.
Respect is at the core of good manners, respect for others’ space, for their bodies, and their property. As well, self-respect is key. Kids need to learn the proper attire for different circumstances. They must learn bathroom etiquette and to respect their own bodies.
Parents are the teachers who must be their children’s role models for politeness and respect for other people, as well as for all the creatures on the planet. Kids mimic their parents’ behavior. They’ll extend their hands for a handshake if they see Dad do it. They’ll eat with their hands if that’s the common sight they see in their home.
Here are some basic types of manners that must be taught if you want your kids to get ahead in the world:
- table manners – For example,how to manage a knife and fork properly, how to chew with mouth closed, how to talk and drink only when the mouth is empty, naming just a few. How to put the phone away at a meal, (unlike the woman in the following picture).
3. compassion for others – how to respond when seeing someone with different skin color, or in a wheelchair, or dressed in an unfamiliar way, and how to stand and give a seat to someone who needs it. 4. greeting people – how to look someone in the eye, smile and say “Hello”, using the person’s name.
Teach your children the Six Respectful Responses ( and be role models, using them yourself):
- “Please” (variation “Yes, please”)
- “Thank you”(variations “Yes, thank you” or “No, thank you)
- “You’re welcome” ( instead of “Unh-hunh” or “No problem”)
- “Excuse me” (variations “Pardon me”, “I beg your pardon”)
- “I’m sorry” (when injuring someone’s feelings, property or person)
- “May I?” (when verifying an offer, or asking permission)
Take the time to train courteous behavior. But do it in private, at home, not in a restaurant or when you’re a guest in someone’s home. And show your children, by the way you treat them, how to behave toward others.
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