Having good manners are expected in our family. "Please" and "thank you" were among Carter’s first words.
Lately, however, I’ve seen his skills start to slip. I’m not sure if it’s his age, his environment—when he’s at pre-school or on a playdate—or just pure laziness.
Good manners is not just saying please and thank you. We’ve always expected him to greet both his elders and friends in a polite and friendly manner, to respect others and show appreciation for what he has. It’s important to us as parents to teach Carter social skills as well as an appreciation for academic learning.
I am by no means an etiquette expert, but I firmly believe that being a role model to our children as parents gives a good foundation for proper manners. So, in an effort to refresh his skills, we’ve started to remind Carter of these fundamentals:
- Be a good sport: You don’t always need to finish first, but try your best.
- Sit at the table properly: Learning good table manners is an important life lesson.
- Use your words: Work through frustrations by speaking, not by being aggressive.
- Show gratitude: Say please and thank you. Write thank you notes for gifts and show appreciation.
- Give respect: Respect for adults, for friends, and for yourself. This also includes caring about feelings, belongings and personal space.
- Conversation 101: Pay attention when someone is talking to you, and don’t interrupt. Greet people nicely, and use "please," "thank you" and "excuse me" in the proper circumstances. Be polite on the phone and know good phone etiquette.
No one is perfect all the time, least of all children. Actions definitely speak louder than words. Rearing polite children ensures a good start to becoming a confident, respectful person. Good manners can also be the key to social success as an adult.