Imagine a little child who always puts up a smile, behaves very politely and knows when to say “thank you” and “sorry” - melts your heart, doesn’t it? Good manners and etiquettes form the very foundation of one’s character. It is in human nature to be aggressive as we can easily get influenced by our negative emotions like fear, envy, greed which ultimately results in anger. But practising good manners like patience, politeness, kindness etc. can help us build a positive aura around ourselves.
Good manners are something that every parent wants their child to learn but do not know how to teach them effectively and where to start. Here are 5 ways you can teach your child good manners:
1. Start early
The earlier you start teaching your child good manners, the better. Even though she may not understand what it really means, your child starts catching what you say from as early as 1 or 2 years old. Starting early helps it become a part of your child’s character and it will become something that she does automatically. Teach her to speak the magic words or phrases such as “Please”, “Excuse me”, “Sorry” and “Thank You”. Slowly as she develops her language skills, she’ll be able to understand and associate these words with their respective emotions.
2. Be their role model
Nobody is born with good manners. One learns behavioural etiquettes from experience and by observing others around them. Your child learns to mimic you from a very early age, after all, you are her very first teacher. Be the perfect role model for your little one and behave with her just the way you would want her to behave with you or others. Your behaviour will inspire your little one to behave the same way with the people around her.
[Read more: 10 important manners to teach your kid]
3. Encourage them to be sensitive
Sensitivity and respect towards others’ emotions form the base of good manners. It is hard for young children, who are still trying to figure out their own emotions, to understand how the other person feels. Help them become respectful towards others and teach them how to be sensitive towards others’ feelings. Teach them to make eye contact while speaking to someone and ask before taking something that does not belong to them. It is considered very disrespectful when someone gets interrupted in between saying something. Therefore, you must educate your child to be polite and to wait for their turn before speaking up.
[Read more: Teaching your child to be kind]
4. Appreciate your child’s good behaviour
Children love it when elders recognize their efforts and appreciate them. A little praise from their parents itself can make them feel really good about trying something and boost their motivation. Never fail to acknowledge your child’s improvements and encourage them to continue practising good manners. Everytime your child helps you out in your work or shows excellent table manners, do not forget to say “Thank you, dear” or “I’m so proud of you”. Your one positive affirmation can go a long way in building your child’s personality.
5. Correct in a polite manner
Have no doubt it that your child will make many mistakes before perfecting one etiquette. Do not hesitate to correct it thinking it will hurt your little one’s feelings. To make it most effective, you need to correct improper behaviour right away, but of course in a very polite manner. You should never scold or punish your little one if she misbehaves but handle it rather tactfully. Reacting it in an aggressive way can give away the wrong message to your child that one can behave rudely when he is angry.
[Read more: How To React When Your Child Misbehaves]