Saturday, April 17, 2010

Manners for Children



It pains me to see children with terrible manners, particularly if their parents don't seem to mind. It is very important to me that my daughters show good manners. In my opinion, children should be respectful, patient, and show grace in all situations, whether it is in a restaurant, a party, in church, in school, or at home. Manners are a gift that we as parents can give to our children. Possessing good manners will help them to be successful as adults in their personal and professional lives.

Books have been written about manners for children, but I'm going to focus on a topic that is very important to me ~ TALKING!

It sounds like the most basic concept, but in today's world where technology is used on a daily basis, it's important for children to know how to effectively communicate with others through verbal communication. Children obviously should respect themselves, their peers, and adults, but knowing how to do it when they talk is the key.

Here are some guidelines and expectations that I have:

1. When someone says "Good Morning" or "Hello," children should respond in kind. It astonishes me when I greet a child and do not get a verbal reply!!

2. Answer yes or no! I expect my daughters to speak clearly and to give complete answers with YES or no, not "yeah" or "uh-huh." No nods yes or no, or even worse a thumbs up or shoulder shrug. Clear, articulate answers are needed.

3. Say "please" and "thank you" often. Say "you're welcome" when thanked.

4. Accept compliments graciously. Even the most shy child should simply respond with a "thank you" when offered a compliment. No other explanation is necessary. Certainly a long discourse is not needed, but children do need to acknowledge that someone complimented them.

5. Make appropriate eye contact. Children should make proper eye contact when speaking with others. My minnies know that I expect them to look at me, not the ground or floor, when I am talking to them. It shows respect and builds rapport to look someone in the eye when you are talking with them.

6. Answer the phone correctly. Children who are old enough to answer the phone should do so only when they can properly speak effectively on the phone in a polite and appropriate way. Not only is it good manners to answer the phone correctly, it ensures the child's safety because you never know who is calling or what information is being requested.

7. Address people by the correct name. Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., and more are all terms that should be used correctly by children.

Parents who set a good example and who consistently reinforce good manners will be glad that they did. This is no easy task and it takes a lot of work to raise well mannered children. Avoiding bad examples on television shows helps to deter negative words and attitudes. Of course, I have to watch myself to set a good example for my girls, too. Even when I'm driving. . .

Do you have any other suggestions for children when they are talking with others? How can they show good manners when interacting socially?


On Easter, Natalia delivered lollipops to the residents of the nursing home where my mother is recovering from a broken femur.

xoxo

15 comments:

  1. so absolutely right... i agree with everything 200%!! love N in her dress!!!

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  2. Great post! I think this is something that is so overlooked by parents these days. We started when my son could first talk. We always make him order his own food in resturants and address the waiter or waitress with eye contact and use his "magic words" please and thank you. I think that is one tip I can suggest that really helps kids learn to interact with adults. We never shyed away from taking him to nice resturants because I always thought he should learn that he has to behave a certain way in these places.

    Hope your having a great weekend!

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  4. What a fabulous post!! I couldn't agree with you more! Funny how we spend so much time and money sticking our children in every class and activity we can find but when it comes to something so important for their social development that we can teach them at home, most just wash their hands of the matter and expect the little ones to pick up whatever they can elsewhere! Your little one looks too cute!
    A new follower, don't know what took me so long!!

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  5. I agree with you! It is amazing how casual parents have allowed their children to become around adults. I would add reaching out your hand to shake the adults while introducing yourself. Shows confidence.

    www.rosiecampbell.net

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  6. I agree with you 100%!!! My twins are 4, so we're not doing all of these things consistently yet (any advice on the eye contact thing?), but we emphasize it all frequently.

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  7. I agree with you! My post on Friday was about how it seems people have become so rude. Hope your weekend is wonderful!!

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  8. Oh I so wish more parents would just care to teach their children these things!

    I meet so many poor little boys and girls who are so ackward and I think if they just had been armed with the skills they would be able to socialize with ease!

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  9. Oh I so wish more parents would just care to teach their children these things!

    I meet so many poor little boys and girls who are so ackward and I think if they just had been armed with the skills they would be able to socialize with ease!

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  10. Oh I so wish more parents would just care to teach their children these things!

    I meet so many poor little boys and girls who are so ackward and I think if they just had been armed with the skills they would be able to socialize with ease!

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  11. Oh I so wish more parents would just care to teach their children these things!

    I meet so many poor little boys and girls who are so ackward and I think if they just had been armed with the skills they would be able to socialize with ease!

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  12. I couldn't have said it better myself!! Being that you are a mother gives you a backing that I don't have, but I will say...I was raised to do all of the above. It was not something I ever questioned. My mother wouldn't have it of course :)

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  13. I can not stand if my children shrug or just nod. I expect a Yes Ma'am.

    The only thing I would add is the Ma'am and Sir... but then I'm just a fanatic on that.

    Love you and agree with you 100%!

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  14. From a mother of three (aged: seven & four yo twins), I couldn't agree more. Anything less is simply unacceptable, yet it's so common. One of my pet peeves is when a child above 8 or 9 lets a door slam in someone's face rather than holding it open...just kills me.

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