How Rude! Why Teaching Your Children Manners Matters!
How many times in the last week have you held the door for someone and didn’t hear a “thank you”? Have you neglected to thank someone for doing something nice for you? If you answered yes to question two, how would you feel if your child did the same thing or even acted rudely toward another peer or adult?
Manners aren’t something we typically think about nowadays what with doctors and educators recommending other things like early literacy and physical activity (both VERY important!). Manners are just things that tend to get pushed to the side for one reason or another.
I have met so many parents who don’t know or practice proper manners and it baffles me when I see their children following in their footsteps. If you’re one of these parents, that’s okay so long as you’re willing to work on this and change your habits.
If you want your child to have good table manners, it is vital that you practice what you preach. This can be easily done by doing things as simple as saying please, thank you, and excuse me, when necessary. If your child sees you practicing these good manners, they will be more inclined to follow in your footsteps.
It is also important to be consistent with your discipline. You can’t expect them to pick up on your cues if you only discipline them when you feel like it. I remember my sister and I as kids getting punished for licking our fingers clean and for other bad manners as well.
Because of the consistent discipline as a child, I find myself always lying the napkin on my lap and sitting up straight during mealtime.
Manners were a big deal in my home growing up, so when I see my students displaying bad manners it makes me very uncomfortable. I see my students chewing with their mouths open and eating too fast and I make a point to correct them again and again. I have always wondered how kids from the most privileged backgrounds tend to have terrible manners.
Another huge issue I see in children today is the improper use of “can I” and “may I.” It is important to teach your children proper grammar. I’m sure you’ve accidentally mixed these two around before as it is a common mistake in the English language.
It is important to know that “can” is the power of ability and “may” is used to ask permission. For example: If you need to use the restroom, you would say “Excuse me, may I please use the restroom?” If you use can in that sentence, you are simply asking if you have the physical ability to use the restroom.
The final etiquette topic I want to cover in this post is something that I care a lot about and that is swearing and not practicing positive behaviors.
While swearing may not seem like a big deal in many families, for the general public it isn’t a habit that should be repeated. When you go for a job interview, what do you think the chances are of being hired if you swore throughout the interview? Probably slim to none. Would you want that for your child?
Or what about harmful swear words that hurt somebody else’s feelings? Bullying is a huge problem in our country and by letting kids believe hurtful words are okay to say to one another, we are letting them roam down a path of negativity rather than positivity.
I remember one time when my sister and I were kids. Joyce used a curse word in front of our mother in the 4th grade and my mother washed my sister’s mouth out with soap as punishment. Poor Joyce.
If you want to raise your little one to be successful, practicing good manners and basic etiquette are essential to achieving that goal!