A parent is responsible for teaching good manners to his child. Children aren’t born with good manners. They learn it.
Here are 3 helpful ways for parents to begin teaching children some good manners:
1. Children learn by example
Take a look at how you behave. Do you say “Please” and “Thank you” to your partner at the dinner table after a long stressful day?
Think about this: How would you feel if your adorable first grader screams at the helper for forgetting to serve her milk hot and not cold?
If those scenarios don’t excite you, minding your manners always will prompt your child to be courteous too.
The inappropriate expression of anger is an example of rude behavior. (Given the finger to anyone lately in the presence of your child?)
- Give your child a gentle nudge or signal if anyone, especially an adult, greets him or addresses him in any way. A response is always a must.
- Proper titles are necessary. In our culture, children call the siblings and friends of their parents “Tito, Tita, Uncle, or Auntie”. If you aren’t close friends, “Mister Cruz” or “Mrs. Cruz” will do too. Your child calling your siblings or friends by their first names (the way you do) is simply not respectful.
- It is common for children to touch their foreheads to the back of an adult’s hand as a form of greeting or “pagmamano”. A verbal “Good afternoon” is always nice to hear too. Bestowing a kiss on the cheek of the parent’s friend is also another common greeting.
- What is important in all instances is for our child to have eye contact with the person who is talking to them.
Learning good manners doesn’t happen overnight. Make sure that you, your partner, the nanny, and even the teachers in school are on the same page when it comes to good manners. If the teachers in school turn a blind eye to food fights in the cafeteria, your child will be confused when you scold him for throwing his food at you.
As this is a process for your child, manage your expectations.
A three year old cannot sit quietly through a 4 course dinner. At the same time, a 10 year old should be able to answer questions politely during a conversation with adults. With the help of parents, children will also know what is expected of them.