Children these days are more self dependent than ever. While this can encourage good habits like being self sufficient and confidence in their own abilities, it can also lead to a decline in good manners. Though formal manners classes for children may be a bit pricey and a bit out there, you can help teach your children some good manners with nothing more than common sense. Good manners for kids does not have to be difficult, you just have to be willing to put in the time.
Please and Thank You
Saying please and thank you is by far one of the biggest issues with kids these days. Many children assume that they should be entitled to things. As a result they are far less likely to say please when they ask for something or thank you when they receive it. Many parents take a lax approach when it comes to teaching please and thank you. There are tons of parents out there that buy their children the latest gadgets without them having to even ask which breeds a generation of kids that think they deserve to get everything they want. Spoiling your children is not a bad thing, after all what else are they good for, but you should also teach your children to be humble and grateful when they do get something.
Cutting People Off
Another issue that more kids than not have is being able to avoid cutting people off. At the zoo, at the store, in a restaurant, more and more children simply run up to what they want rather than taking the time to look and see if anyone else is waiting. While it is not necessary to squash their enthusiasm, you should also teach your children to be aware of others and of their personal space. If you go to some place like the zoo exercise both caution and restraint when your children go up to an exhibit; rather than letting them run up to the glass, teach them that they should take turns and be mindful of people that have been waiting or that are already there.
Another very important manner that often goes un taught is of course sharing. Though you do not have to teach your child to selflessly give their toys to another, it is not unrealistic to ask your child to let other kids play with their toys. Children are naturally selfish, it is simply the way they are made, that being said, you should take the time to teach them that sharing is not going to mean they have to give all their stuff away, simply, that they will loan it for a time then it will come back to them. This is a valuable life lesson in both childhood and adulthood and should be heeded.
Coughing and Sneezing
Children are natural magnets for all the germs in the world. You can keep the cleanest house in the world and they will still pick up germs and spread them to the rest of your family. On that note, most children do not cover their mouths when they sneeze and cough. Though it is not necessary to go all out and put on a hazmat suit when they sneeze or cough, you should still teach your children that it is rude and unsanitary to cough and sneeze on people. The force of a sneeze has the power to send your spit and germs up to ten feet from you meaning that unless that stream is blocked, you can essentially spit on everyone in a room. It is important that you take the time to cover your mouth and to teach your children to do the same.
Eating and Drinking
Another biggy that children often neglect is of course their eating and drinking manners, Going all out and requiring that your kids take the time to lay out their napkins and use the proper forks is not necessary but there are a few things they should know. Washing hands before eating is always a good practice. Staying seated during meals unless excused, eating with your mouth closed, not reaching over food or other peoples plates, and being considerate of the cook are all good manners for kids to learn. You should take the time to let your children know that they are supposed to act respectfully during meals and that doing things that have a major gross factor can ruin a meal.
Though passing gas is perhaps one of the only things we bring with us from childhood that is funny at any age, it is still necessary to teach children that they should control it when necessary and how to avoid being rude about it. It is true, everyone poops and as such everyone passes gas so there is nothing to be ashamed of, however, having contests to see who can be the loudest and stinkiest is not exactly good behavior. Though many children will still pass gas in public, you should teach them that there are times when it is absolutely not okay. Children are going to fart and burp, you just have to teach them when it is okay. You should also teach your children proper bathroom etiquette. More often than not kids decide that crawling from stall to stall while mom tries to go is funny. You should teach your children to do their business and save the fun for more appropriate places.
Children are going to learn good manners for kids only if their parents take the time to teach them. Though it may seem like some things are common sense, that is one thing that most children lack. You should take the time to talk to your kids about appropriate behavior and about how to handle themselves in public. These manners also fall under the category of school manners. That being said however, children are children and we wouldn’t want them any other way. One way to insure they have good manners is to teach them that there is a time and place for everything and that home is a bit more lax than other places that they may go.