Mind Your Manners!
Mind your manners, sounds like it is coming from a rigid Third Grade teacher with a stick in hand. On the contrary, one of the most loving things parents can do is to teach their children good manners. It will help them to be successful on the playground, in the classroom, throughout college, in the workplace and in all of their relationships.
I am sure we have all met children with especially good manners. What a delight they are to be around and how charming they sound! They stand out in contrast to those who have not been taught good manners.
It has been found that children who are taught and use good manners have a much fuller life. Manners tend to be a learned thing and therefore it is up to the parents to instill them. Good manners are actually lots of fun, the teaching of which can be a great activity. One family we know of make a game of it – good manners, bad manners. The parents cite a case and ask the children to tell them if they have used good manners or bad manners. Makes for a lot of laughs and great family respect and communication.
A great place to start is by teaching the Golden Rule, i.e. treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. Actually, if this Rule were followed all the time and by everyone, we would have a very harmonious world, don’t you think?
If you are teaching very young children, be sure to stress only one or two things at a time, all the while making sure they understand that it is fun to do it the right way. What makes it “the right way” is not that it is something written in a rule book but because of how it makes others feel. As one of our readers, David, commented on our Post on Etiquette, “When we understand etiquette as what actions and words will make those around us comfortable, the rules are quite freeing.”
It will not matter what you are trying to teach unless your children see you being the living example of what you are trying to teach. Children learn by osmosis a lot of the time and young children, especially, want to emulate their parents. They are like little sponges.
There are many rules that make up the general idea of “good manners”. This list of 25 Manners is a great starting point.
When your child does not live up to what you believe you have taught them, and this will happen, try to have a loving response as the end result will be much better. Our dear friend and pediatric nurse practitioner, Kittie Frantz always reminds us, “Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience, you are raising a human being.”
While your Two Chums do not pretend to know everything about good manners, we do love the learning of them! So please, if you have something you would like to discuss with us, let us know.