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Basic Manners for Children

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Have you ever visited someone's home and come away feeling disgusted by the behaviour of the children there? Here are some manners that every child should learn.

While it is true that no one is perfect, children are expected to conform to at least certain basic behavioural norms. For example, greeting guests and not interrupting an ongoing conversation between adults are rules that every child must follow, no matter how young he is. 

In today's world, it is easy to send your child for etiquette classes. There he will learn how to carry on a conversation, which cutlery to use for certain foods, and a whole host of other social skills. However, teaching your child his manners is a task that should begin at home.

Manners are Important 

Society is such that an individual is judged on the basis of his social skills. Manners play a big role in social behaviour. They influence people's perceptions and behaviour towards an individual. Good manners indicate a good upbringing and are a mark of good breeding. 

Each set of circumstances has its own accepted manners. However, all manners are based on the same principal; that is consideration for other people and being mindful of their feelings. In each scenario, there are three main criteria to determine if an individual has good manners. These are diplomacy, hospitality, and tact.

Teach Children when they are Young 

Teaching a child how to behave should begin from the time your child is able to speak. A few basic manners are listed below. 

Waiting his turn

If you are busy speaking to someone else and your child wants to speak to you, he should wait quietly, until you have finished your conversation. If your child interrupts you, explain to him that you are busy and ask him to wait. If he persists, tell him that when many people speak at the same time, no one can be understood. 

If your child is waiting to speak to you, reach out your hand to touch him and let him know you are aware of his presence. When you do listen to him, give him your complete attention. This will teach your child that waiting to speak to you ensures you will not be distracted when his turn comes. 

Greeting people

Teach your child to greet a visitor to your home. When he is young, your child need not shake hands with a visitor. A simple 'hello' will suffice. A child older than five can be taught to shake an adult's hand while greeting him. Although this is a typical Western form of greeting someone, it is also accepted in India. Even if he is shy around people he is meeting for the first time, he should still greet them politely to make them feel welcome. 

The same greeting behaviour should be followed when he visits someone's home. Have your child greet every member of the household. How a person is greeted will sometimes depend on the level of formality you follow. In most Indian households, he would be expected to touch the feet of the adults, as a mark of respect. Make sure you teach your child the different forms of greeting people. Also, guide him on the method to use in each situation.

Saying 'please' and 'thank you'

If your child is asking for something, he should always say please. If he forgets, have him repeat his request again and remind him that he forgot to say please. Explain to him that when he asks for something without saying please, it appears like a demand, rather than a request. 

Your child should always thank a person when he receives a gift from someone and when someone complies with his request. He should say thank you even when someone compliments him for any reason.

Teach your child manners using positive reinforcement techniques. Praise your child when he does something right. If he makes a mistake, gently explain to him why he is wrong and show him the correct way to act. Remember though, that manners cannot be learned in a single day. You will need to keep reminding your child to mind his manner and gently reprimand him when he behaves undisciplined. This will ensure that he grows up into a charming, well-mannered adult. 

At what age do you think children should be taught their manners? Is it better to teach them at home or send them for classes to a professional? Which are the basic manners that every child should know?
 Discuss here.

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Payal Raval.1 year ago
A thought provoking article! Children observe everything and mostly mimmick the behaviour of elders and parents and those surrounding them. Training them early wpuld be the best way to ensure that they are well mannered.
ParentEdge.2 years ago
The onus of inculcating manners in a child lies with the parent. The best way to teach a child good manners is by modelling the desired behaviour yourself. It is very probable that a toddler who hears only soft, compassionate voices and kind and respectful words will grow up to be a considerate adult, empathetic and considerate herself. On the other hand, a child who hears foul language at home or hears her parents talking rudely about the people around them will probably grow up feeling that it is perfectly acceptable to be deprecatory about others and uncaring of their feelings.
“Don’t worry that your children never listen to you,” said Robert Fulghum, “worry that they are always watching you.” And indeed, your child is observing your every interaction – with your neighbours, with your extended family and friends, and with your domestic help. And she will imitate you.
Manvika.3 years ago
Really a very useful article. The suggestions are wonderful. Thanks for posting this article.
Aparna.3 years ago
Indeed a thought provoking article. Kids with basic manners are pleasing and everybody likes them. This should be done when kids are young.
Kamra Dave.3 years ago
Really kids ought to be taught manners from a young age. This article is really useful and it will help parents in teaching basic manners to the kids.
Aparna.3 years ago
Indeed a thought provoking article. Kids with basic manners are pleasing and everybody likes them. This should be done when kids are young.
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
At what age do you think children should be taught their manners? Is it better to teach them at home or send them for classes to a professional? Which are the basic manners that every child should know?
If your child is not behaving properly that never means that you dont have sense of manners.
It is just about finding out ways to teach your child.Never ever humiliate him in front of someone else....
Hello Sanjana,
Kids are very soft, dont use words as ill mannered for a child as he is in stage of learning.
I dont know but hope that your child must also have problems behaving at else s house...
How many times have you come across an ill-mannered child? Then, if you go to complain to the parents, you come away feeling disgusted by the parent' s behaviour itself. Adults should not expect their...
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