Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Teaching Our Children Common Courtesy

As parents with busy schedules and always on the run, sometimes we forget to teach our kids the importance of mannerisms and how important is to have etiquette. I am very clear on how kids should be kids, however; there is a fine line on allowing the kid to play and do things they need to do and teaching them respect and etiquette. Kids don't have to be perfect because we are clear that they are kids, but if as parents we teach them the importance of courtesy, some where down the line in their future they can and will be educated, well spoken young adults. The reason why I want to write this blog and post this was because I was having a conversation with my cousin yesterday and we were discussing on how some children don't behave or can't even eat at a table with out sucking each finger and using their hands, and eating as if there was no tomorrow... here is my thing, the food on the table will not go anywhere, therefore; eat slow as parents and we allow this then this is how they will grow up and this is what they will be eating as older kids, I know this I have seen a 12 year old doing this and the parent approached me by saying how embarrassed they were, because their child is not well behaved in public, and how this kid was eating...Well guess what, this is not the child's fought this is strictly the parents issue for allowing their child to grow up eating as if there is no tomorrow or allowing them to eat with their hands in public. DON'T BE EMBARRASSED if you allowed this since day one.
Below are some etiquette points that we can teach our kids. By no means is this post saying i am the best mom or anything for that matter, because there is no such thing i am just trying to teach my kids a way of life and sharing them with you all, these are just some tips on how we can better our children.. due to some real senerials of people i know, i have decided to write this post.
Greetings - A proper greeting shows confidence and maturity. Teach your child to address people they meet by Mr. Mrs etc. Making eye contact is an important etiquette too. It is common courtesy to say good morning or good evening, in my case my 2 kids do not go to bed with out saying good night to each other and to me.
Eating - Teaching your child how to eat properly can save you from future embarrassments. I taught my kids how to eat when sitting in a table alone, or with others. When to use a knife to cut your meat and how to eat with your utensils. I know someone who went to eat with his son and came back saying how embracing it was when his child at 11 years of age was eating with his fingers and licking his fingers at a restaurant (we can prevent this from happening if we teach them).
Please and Thank You- These two phrases are still valuable today and their use shows a person has manners more than anything else. In order to teach these words as a parent you must use them yourself (and remind your kids about a million times). Talk to your child about why please and thank you are important. Everyone likes to be appreciated, "'Please' can turn a demand into a request and indicates an option it can save Now and turn an unpopular request into a more palatable one."
Excuse Me- This is a valuable phrase that is used too little. Besides saying "excuse me" after public bodily functions there are many other times when "excuse me" should be used. Such as when a person walks through a crowded room, bumps into someone, walks in front of someone, needs to leave a group, or needs to ask a question.
Not Interrupting- Nothing shows bad manners more than a child who runs up to his parent in mid conversation and begins speaking. Teach your child that when you or anyone else is talking that they must wait until a break in the conversation before interrupting. Teach your child the right etiquette using a signal, such as raising one finger, to show that you acknowledge them and will listen in a moment. Then be sure to stop and listen to your child. Parents that "the mother who invariably stops and says, 'What is it, dear?' when her daughter interrupts is helping her to establish a habit that will do her a disservice all her life."


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