If you thought etiquette applied only to adults, think again. Where do adults learn etiquette? Surely, they’re not born with it. The right etiquette has to be taught when the individual is at a very young age. They should grow as well-mannered people rather than bumbling bumpkins.
Some may say that childhood is the time for kids to be free and have fun. Of course, it is, there’s no denying that. But there’s a time and place for having fun; and kids should not be allowed to become unruly and wild, whether at home or in public places. Teach your children etiquette when they learn to talk and walk. It’s all part of the learning process.
Three magic words
‘Please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ are the three magic words that need to be used in the right situations. All children should be taught these basic tools of etiquette at a young age. It is polite to thank someone when they help you, and also to request for something rather than demand it.
Set models of the use of these words in your daily life. If you sit your children down and lecture them about etiquette, they may never learn. But follow it yourself and watch how your children gradually emulate your example.
Meet and greet
Parents feel proud and happy when other people praise their children. Who wouldn’t like to hear nice things about those they love? To ensure that your child is always well appreciated, teach them the etiquette of meeting and greeting people. They should know when to wish ‘Good morning’ and say ‘nice to meet you, sir/ma’am.’
Once children are old enough to eat on their own, they should be taught the etiquette of dining in the proper manner. Practice this daily at home with them rather than training them hurriedly before guests arrive. Then you won’t have to shout at them in a restaurant when they throw food on the floor or run around with knives or forks.
Transform your children into little ladies and gentlemen!