Someone rightly stated that “manners maketh a man” and that it is manners that decide whether the human being is fit to be a part of society or not. Even those who like to rebelliously flout them are hurt when someone “gives them a taste of their own medicine.” They have to be inculcated in human beings from young age and cannot be missed at any cost. With the media boom and the rising popularity of reality shows, many of which show youngsters swearing and using abusive language even in front of elders, more and more kids are turning disrespectful and irreverent. Cuss words seem to have entered everyday vocabulary and seem to dominate over most adjectives! Thus, people have begun to increasingly realise the importance of teaching good manners to children. They have to be taught to kids in ways that do not seem like teaching. Here’s how to teach your child to have excellent manners.
How To Inculcate Manners In Kids
Here’s how to bring up kids to have good manners:
Practice Before You Preach
The first thing that any parent should do is to model the behavior that they would like to inculcate in their child. Merely instructing a child about what to do is not enough. Your child needs to hear you say it. For example, when you are in a store, and speak to the store in charge or worker politely, by saying, “Excuse me sir, can you please help me look for the exotic fruits?” your child, who is hearing an example of how he should speak to people, will learn the lesson in the best possible way that he or she can. You should regularly and consistently show them good manners and never miss an opportunity to do the same; because if you do not, it may come to your notice sooner or later and your child might either point it out to you or learn the wrong stuff from you. Just as language is learned naturally by practice and speech, so are manners.
Play Your Roles
Another way to inculcate good manners is to play games with young children with the use of dolls and stuffed animals. The old-fashioned tea parties can serve a very important purpose, by teaching children not only about manners but also societal niceties. Though these days children are not having enough tea parties for their dolls anymore, but you can certainly bring up the idea and participate. It is, actually a wonderful opportunity to practice those social skills. Playing with stuffed animals and puppets who use nice words and manners also help your child to see manners as part of his/her everyday world, and help to develop it like a habit, much like brushing teeth.
A Good Pat On The Back
You will have to keep complimenting your child when he or she uses good manners. You can say, “It was really wonderful of you when you thanked Mrs. Sharma for the cookies she brought us. I’m sure that made her feel really good.” Children enjoy having the power to be the cause of someone’s happiness or any other positive feeling, so you should definitely encourage them to use it. This kind of response is the opposite of reacting strongly to displays of bad manners, which might only serve to reinforce the behavior, because even negative attention is attention. If your child behaves rudely, correct him/her. Try not to make a really big deal out of it, because then you are giving him/her the power to cause you to have a reaction based on his/her poor behavior. You definitely do not want the behavior to become a pattern.
Booking Good Manners
One way to help your child to understand the importance of manners is to read books about different social situations in which people are called upon to behave in a certain way in what may be an awkward circumstance. Most books written by Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl and even some written by Indian writers emphasize this fact and can be used for this purpose.