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10 Basic Manners You Should Be Teaching Your Kids

10 Basic Manners You Should Be Teaching Your Kids

Ameena Aliyu-Beighton

As parents, we always want our kids to portray themselves in the best light, wherever they go. However, I bet you’ve had at least a moment or two when you prayed silently for your child to say, ‘Hello,’ at a gathering or ‘Thank you’ for a gift that another smug mum presented to her. You may also have cringed at the sight of your child pushing roughly through a group of adults or children, without an ‘excuse me.’

Here are a few good manners you should be consistently helping your little tyke learn to become a pro at:

1. Saying, ‘Please and thank you’ will always top any list as they lay the foundation for a well mannered child. Saying ‘please’ when asking and ‘thank you’ after receiving, sets a generally pleasant tone for future dealings. Nothing is worse than raising a child who feels entitled to everything he demands rudely for and ends up getting. That’s 100% recipe for disaster! It’s such a joy to hear polite kids. You just seem to think that child will turn out a well mannered, generous and grateful adult.

2. There’s a time and place for everything, so the bank is not the place for a child to test their vocal cords or see how fast they can wriggle through the teller queue as this can be embarrassing and disruptive. Try to get your kids to understand the environments they are in and act accordingly, like sitting quietly in a bank. We know kids and sitting quietly don’t actually work in the same sentence but do try to instill that discipline in them.

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3. Asking for permission is something children must learn early. Not asking first for permission can make your child seem very ill mannered. It’s important they learn boundaries when it comes to other people’s possessions, even when it’s yours.

4. Saying, ‘Excuse me please.’ It’s really bad form when a child badges their way between grown-ups and children alike. A simple ‘excuse me please’ will get them what they want from willing onlookers. The ‘please’ is important here as it makes the phrase sound a whole lot more courteous.

5. Going through pleasantries. Learning to exchange simple ‘hellos’ or ‘good morning/afternoon’ is always a sign of good manners. Being able to give reply appropriately when they are asked ‘how are you?’ or ‘how do you do?’ and also ask of others’ wellbeing, is not only polite but portrays confidence.

6. Eating Etiquette. Good table manners are also crucial. None likes or wants to be that child that eats with their mouth open, or talks with food in their mouth. More than likely, they will put everyone else off their food. Remember that they can only display what they have already learnt through constant practice at home in public.

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7. No Public Shaming. We all know that children can be more than generous with the truth. Even though that gentleman’s nose is rather large, pointing it out in their loudest voice in the midst of others is less than ideal and wholly cringe-worthy for both you and the accused. You may want to teach your child the discipline of public speaking restraint. This may save you a few friendships.

8. No interruptions. Let them know interrupting grown-ups in the middle of a conversation is not polite. It’s always best to teach them to wait till there is a break in the conversation before getting your attention. If it’s urgent, then standing in front of you and waiting is sure to get your attention.

9. No Cursing. None likes a foul mouth especially when it comes from a child. Such words should be banished from your child’s vocabulary. It’s the fastest way for them to see a massive drop in invites to play dates. No parent wants their child hanging out with a foul mouthed kid that will no doubt pass it on.

10. No eyeing up and snatching. It’s bad behaviour to want other people’s things by all means whether it’s food or toys. If your child has asked another child or grown-up for something and the answer is no, throwing a tantrum until they get it or snatching the item is a sign of indiscipline, especially when they are at a friend’s. So, always address it.

Raising a well mannered and rounded child can certainly be difficult. The trick really is consistency and teaching by example. Don’t take things from your maid, for instance, without saying ‘thank you,’ or jump a queue without asking politely if you are in a hurry. Always remember your habits influence your child’s greatly.

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