This week , we are going to get our kids prepared to enter into the world with manners. Maybe they have just slacked off a bit , or maybe they are little and still learning. Whatever the case, manners are very important, as they reflect on us as parents. Manners will carry your child a long way. It shows respect, character, and a good upbringing. Its common courtesy. Thank you, please, your welcome, should be said by all in the household.
Telephone manners are also important. Nothing is worse than calling a friend and their child answers, “Yeah, who is this?” The proper etiquette is “May I tell her who’s calling?” not “who’s calling?” In addition, they shouldn’t be yelling “MA…PHONE”. Common courtesy should also be taught that when someone is on the phone, it is rude to interrupt. Give them a consequence for interrupting, and be sure to let them know you feel disrespected that they did not allow you time on the phone uninterrupted. Another suggestion for kids a bit older who like to interrupt. Do not stop your conversation, usher them out the door and lock it. Or usher them to their room and shut the door. Or go to the bathroom and lock the door and continue your conversation. If the kids are used to you stopping what you’re doing and listening to them, they will continue to pester you. If you basically ignore them…they will get it, trust me. It sounds harsh, but it is a lesson that they will learn and need to learn.
When you are done on the phone, then go get them and explain why you did what you did, and what you expect in the future.
Table manners are crucial. Your children should know to put the napkin in their lap, how to properly hold a fork and knife, not to talk with their mouths full, not to put their elbows on the table, the basics. Give it a shot this week; watch your kids while they are at the table. Would you be embarrassed to have them go to a friend’s house with their table manners?
Sending thank you cards is starting to become a lost manner. Teach your child the importance of recognizing someone when they do something for them or give them something.
Being helpful! Does your child help to pick up toys when they are at a friends home? Do they hold the door open for people? How about the simple greeting of "hello"? Does your child know the proper response when someone asks "how are you?", do they reply "I'm good, thank you, how are you?" Or do they look down at their feet and mumble something that resembles "good."?
Teach them, gently correct them, and gently remind them. Manners become habit, but there should still be feeling and actual sincerity behind the "thank yous" and "Please".
Be mindful of your manners this week and of your child’s. Remember we lead by example! Give gentle reminders to get them back into the swing of things. Remember that manners never go out of style.