Children are usually a bundle of joy and laughter. Some are also the devil’s advocate. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that kids today (and the youth in particular) lack a lot of basic public etiquette.
Good manners and right conduct seem to have been thrown out of the window because guardians and parents spend less time with their children. They’re usually left to an electronic baby sitter or a nanny who wouldn’t care less (or is totally clueless) when it comes to child rearing.
Whatever the reason, a rude child is the making of a rude adult. An ill-mannered individual is not born. They are made. So before we all go ranting with anger on why so on and so forth are uncivilised people, they have a past. And it begins during their childhood years.
I will divide the blog into three parts (otherwise it gets to be too long):
1. Manners in general
2. With adults and other children
3. And at the dinner table
And you may have other thoughts you wish to share (so feel free to leave a comment). This is being written, as a gentle reminder on how to raise our children properly. Remember- we reap what we sow!
Part 1 – The General Rules
1. Always say thank you and please. Gratitude expressed is always appreciated. Most especially from someone you expect to hear the “thank you” from. Brighten up someone’s day – don’t forget to say please and thank you. Always.
2. Say hello and goodbye. At the clinic, I greet each of my little (and older) patients with Hello and close the consultation with a Goodbye. It’s always good manners to teach children proper greeting manners as well. Just to make sure that they’re not a robot.
3. Holding the door open for people is a nice gesture. When kids see adults running towards the open door and slamming it against other people, they think that it’s an appropriate behavior. Exiting and entering are manners should be taught. Reminder – allow people to exit first before entering. Rule of thumb is OUT before IN!
4. Kids intelligence should not be underestimated. Remember, they hear, see, feel, taste and smell what we do. Those sneaky things that we do under their very nose which they see and hear. Or those bad habits we have like being late or screaming at one another at the dinner table or whispering about bad secrets which they overhear.
5. Manners are important. Sitting properly. Cleaning up after making a mess. Covering your mouth when you sneeze. Saying “excuse me” when you need to interrupt a conversation. Saying sorry when you bump into someone accidentally. Learning how to answer the phone properly. Manners matter.
Raising a child should be based on our standards. Not theirs. And the kind of child you raise is a reflection of our child rearing.