LIFE

10 Manners Every Parent Should Teach Their Children

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

Being a parent isn’t a simple task, and reeling kids in is so much easier said than done.

However, some kids these days are simply lacking with their manners. What ever happened to teaching children the ins and outs of being a polite, well-mannered member of society?

These 10 seemingly lost manners should be on every parent’s list of things to teach his or her children. They’ve all slid down the scale of priorities to teach the next generations. It’s not really any one parent’s fault, it’s just that we, as a people, have forgotten about them.

It’s time to once again place an emphasis on manners from past generations. I think these can help make the world a kinder, cleaner, happier place!

What was the most important thing that you taught or will teach your children? Are there any important manners you think we missed on this list?

Please SHARE with your fellow parents and grandparents on Facebook!

[H/T: Reader’s Digest]

1. Don't Comment On Physical Appearance

be nice

Children these days have the tendency to speak whatever comes to their mind. They don’t mean any harm, but sometimes those words can hurt regardless. Teach children early on that commenting on people’s physical appearances, whether it be their weight, their clothing, or the fact that they have a disability, is not a nice thing to do.

Not only does this prevent hurting someone’s feelings, it also teaches kids to look beyond what people look like on the outside. Positive compliments are, of course, welcome, but try to make it clear that it’s only OK to say these comments if they are meant to make someone feel nice!

2. Ask Others How They Are Feeling

2. Ask Others How They Are Feeling

When someone asks your child how he’s feeling, teach him to ask the person how they are feeling in return. It’s not polite to only talk about yourself, and teaching your child this little piece of conversation etiquette will help instill empathy. With all the posting on social media these days, it’s easy for kids to think “me, me, me.”

3. Remember Table Manners

3. Remember Table Manners

This seems like a given, but in practice, it’s so easily forgotten! You rush to have dinner on the table while trying to get the kids to finish their homework or clean their rooms. By the time it’s done, you don’t even notice how the kids are slathering their food in ketchup, spearing it with forks, and chewing it like little monsters. One day, you’ll sit down to a fancy meal and realize what savagery they have amassed.

This excerpt from a Victorian era cookbook still rings true: “The best teachers of etiquette are the fathers and mothers, and their lessons should be given chiefly through example.”

4. Clean Up After Yourself

dishes

Bringing the dishes into the kitchen after meals and putting toys away after playing with them is a basic life skill, in addition to good manners. There’s nothing charming about a full-grown adult who leaves empty water glasses and knickknacks all over the house!

5. Remember To Show Gratitude

5. Remember To Show Gratitude

It’s so incredibly important to teach people gratitude when they are young. Being sincere when saying “thank you,” or when receiving gifts and compliments, is a learned ability. When children don’t learn how to say those two words and really appreciate other people, they learn to be actively ungrateful.

As Gina Barreca Ph.D. notes in Psychology Today: “When gratitude goes missing, ingratitude rushes in to fill the void. Entitlement and insolence follow quickly and slam the door behind them.”

6. Ask Permission

6. Ask Permission

Making sure your child knows to ask before taking something can save a lot of stress in the future when consequences get more and more dire. Teaching them while young can save a lot of headaches.

7. Address People By Name

group names

Addressing people by their names shows that you respect them as individuals. Value Walk says that it’s crucial for successful business interactions, but that’s not the main reason to teach this manner to your kids. It’s a kind thing that encourages meaningful personal relationships.

People these days say that they’re bad at remembering names, but the truth is that they’re just not trying hard enough to remember them. Let’s take it back to the old days when we all made an effort to get to know our neighbors.

8. Respect Your Elders

elders

This includes teaching children that it’s kind and considerate to offer their help without being asked, as well as following through with requests from Mom, Dad, teachers, and other authorities without putting up a fuss.

9. Hold Doors Open For Strangers

9. Hold Doors Open For Strangers

This is not as antiquated a manner as it sounds. Holding doors open for others shows respect and acknowledgement that we all live in this world together. This gesture can make or break someone’s day, because getting a door slammed in your face never makes you feel good!

10. Respect Other People's Privacy And Personal Space

10. Respect Other People's Privacy And Personal Space

Children need to know that it’s important to let people have their own space and their own privacy. When in public, teach your kids to stay in their seats instead of sprawling across benches. Teach them to knock on doors before entering, and to respect when peers don’t want to share information, or even if they simply want to be left alone.

Which manners do you feel have been forgotten over the years? Please SHARE with family and friends on Facebook!