Children go to school to learn how to read and write, and they go to church to learn about religion and ethics. Parents should teach their children manners in the home, but unfortunately this isn't always done enough. Understand that a child who practices the basic rules of etiquette will stand out from the crowd and endear himself to the adults around him.
Teach a child to say ''thank you'' by setting an example yourself. No matter how young he is, never forget to say ''thank you'' to him each time he hands you something, even if it's his bottle.
Say ''please'' each time you ask your child to do something. Children learn by the things their parents do. A hug and kiss from you will ensure that the child always remembers to say that word.
Teach an older child to hold a door open for others, especially when entering a store. Show how you hold the door open for others, allowing them to walk in first. The child will learn to do the same.
Set the table for a family dinner using good dishes and silverware. Place the forks on one side of the plate and the spoons and knives on the other. Add a napkin and a glass, and place them in their proper positions. Use the proper utensils as needed, as well as the napkin. Teach your child to pass food rather than reach for it. Children will follow your lead and will make you proud when you take them out to eat at a fancy restaurant.
Make Sunday a special family day by wearing special clothes. If you go to church together, say "Good morning" to each person you see, and watch and notice your children do the same. If an older person is standing while you are sitting, stand up and offer the person a seat. Your children will notice such gestures and learn to follow your example.
Tips and Warnings
- Teach children to offer their seat to an older person, out of respect for his age, and especially if he shows signs of infirmity.
- Teach children sportsmanship when they're on the playing field.
- Children can only learn what they are taught, no matter their age. It is never too late to teach them good manners.