Good manners are so important. It seems as if we are neglectful however. Either we have never learned, become forgetful or dare I say just get plain lazy. Perhaps some of the points I bring up will resonate with you or your children. Speaking of children, we must teach them good manners from an early age. You know what I think is one of the best ways to do so? For goodness sake, stop child proofing your home. You see, that has never quite made much sense to me. Your child proofing your home, removing all breakable objects; I don’t understand, does it then become a playground? If so, what in the world is a child to do when out in public or, better yet, at someone else’s home?
- Teach your child to always say please and thank you and insist that they do so 100% of the time.
- Teach your child to be respectful of others. Teach them to always say “hello” and “goodbye” when entering or leaving home.
- Teach your child to shake everyone’s hand oh, and by the way, teach them to give a firm handshake (no dead fish handshake).
- Teach your child to always offer food or drink to others first.
- Teach your child to wait until everyone is seated at the dinner table before plunging into their meal. In fact, why not pray together prior to eating.
- Teach your child to always pass food to the right. It is after all proper etiquette.
- Teach your child never to chew with their mouth open.
- Teach your child never to speak with their mouth full.
- Teach your child never to blow their nose at the dinner table (I’m sorry I had to include this one).
- Teach your child how to use their flatware. Remember to point out to them to start on the outside and work their way in.
- Teach your child to dress respectfully for school. In fact aid and assist them whenever you can. Remember we are not all born with good taste but it can be learned.
- Teach your child from a very early age to sit tight and behave in a restaurant.
- Teach your child (this you may or may not agree with) I was born in Greece and it was always improper as a child or teenager to call an adult by their first name. Listen it’s not so bad to teach your children respect for their elders and frankly this is one way to do so.
- Teach your child never to talk back to their elders, certainly not in public.
I do not believe that children should be seen and not heard. On the contrary my friends, teach your children that you respect them from early on and they in turn will respect you and everyone else around them. Allow them to have a voice and an opinion, trust me it is important. By all means however, never ever allow them to interrupt you or anyone else. Insist that they learn patience and say, “excuse me”. By the way, insist that they respect their friends in the same fashion. You know, I must tell you that it seems to me, good manners in a child lead to good manners as an adult.