Manners: A Direct Result of Civility
Parents always want their children to become 'good' people. According to psychologists, the exact definition of a 'good' person is the exhibit's prosocial behaviors. Good manners are not automatic, nor do they develop without some deliberate teaching and modeling by the adults. Today's young people don't have any manners, and this is a severe issue in our society. If we want a pleasant environment and a better world to live, we must be responsible and start "training children in the way they should go a long way," as the proverb suggests. Quarantine time is the best time to remind ourselves and teach our kids a little respect.
Good manners make everyone’s life more pleasant. And here’s a payoff: If our kids have well-practiced etiquettes, they’re going to get hired first at work, and they’ll likely be more successful on the job. Societies that function on a high level are called Civilizations for a reason; Civility is a prerequisite. Likewise, families that learn to practice good manners don’t only perform smoothly on the outside; they experience more positives and reduced conflict internally. It’s a direct result of practiced civility.
So let’s talk about ten good manners for kids to know:
1. Put others first.
This could be the only point we need to make because it’s at the root of all the others. This principle is manifest in holding doors, stepping aside, offering the last cookie, giving up your seat, changing a tire, carrying groceries, and offering a hand.
2. Polite phone protocol.
This item could have its own list. Turn the phone off during meals, movies, classes, and conversations. This includes texting. Bottom line: Give 100% attention to the people you are physical with. Your phone has a voice mail feature, use it.
3. Thank you note.
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who write thank you notes for gifts or special occasions and those who don’t. Teach your kids to write thank-you notes, and they will have understood a fundamental concept. Nothing elaborate is necessary, but the effect is always memorable.
4. Use Thank You, and Welcome routinely in conversation.
Being Thankful is simple but powerful. Help your kids make it a habit. This is a manner you need to model at your end.
6. Shake hands and make eye contact.
Teach kids to shake hands, to make eye contact, and to offer a word of welcome when they meet new people or when others visit the home. It may be a cliché to say first impressions make a significant impact, but it’s a cliché because it’s true.
7. Teach kids to offer to serve people who enter your home.
Make it routine. May I take your coat? Would you like a glass of water? Let me take your bags. People who visit are our guests. This is a crucial lesson, no matter what a child’s age.
8. Stand up when an elder enters the room.
Many adults have forgotten this gem. It’s a sign of respect, no matter what age, our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, or any visitor comes to the home. Teach children to stand as a sign of respect.
9. Be polite to people who serve.
Polite means making eye contact and turn your phone off when talking to the cashier at the fast-food restaurant or the grocery store. It means being respectful to the server at the restaurant. It means saying thank you when you’re given food or change. Try thanking the bus driver for the ride home or a soldier for serving our country.
10. Practice manners at family mealtimes.
Family dinners can be a perfect venue for manners. Demonstrate, practice, model, question, prompt: no TV, no phones, and no distractions from polite interaction. Please pass the potatoes. Thanks. Can I get that for you? Mom, can I pour you a glass of water? The family unit is the most important venue to learn social graces, and family mealtimes are maybe our best opportunity.