A month back, I was inquiring about summer camp for my toddler and asked the representative of one of the camps, that do they teach anything related to manners/etiquette’s. She said, ‘’not for this age group”. Well, my daughter is 2.6 and I was totally surprised as to what a foolish question I asked. She is too small for even to know what is mannerism all about. Though I try to guide her with little basic etiquette but sometimes I feel all this is taking her childhood away.
If children don’t mess up their food, scatter things, spill water, jump around, shout or talk loudly, who will do, we? Infact, I have seen many adults behaving like kids. Then why groom them from a toddler age. But it is well said, all that starts well ends well.
What if we were not controlled & disciplined by our parents? What if we were not thought to eat, sit, walk & talk with etiquette? We would have never known how to respect ourselves & others.
Mannerism is defined, ‘as a habitual gesture or way of speaking or behaving’. It is considered one of the most important qualities in human.
Good manners makes a person sophisticated & is also popular among his counterparts. I have heard people praise not only their children but also their parents who show signs of good behavior.
So how do we inculcate good manners in children? There is no hand & stick rule here. One has to be sharp, observant & patient as a parent.
-Firstly, analyze why your child is behaving in a particular way. Is he/she showing any readiness to learn new things?
-Do not nag or push them, in just learning things. Rather than make it a learning experience.
-Children learn from home. Mannerisms seed starts sowing from home. We can be their mirror. Social etiquette’s are learnt from family members and carried throughout life.
-Some basic steps like knocking door before entering, asking before borrowing, sharing, respecting elders, not invading in private matters, eating correctly, cleaning their own rooms or putting back toys & other stuff, greeting – hello, goodbye, sorry, thank you, showing appreciation, talking softly, not bullying anyone, etc., would just be a stepping stone to a well groomed conduct.
-Do not compare with other children. Every child is different. Some understand easily, some take a little more time.
-Do not be very strict and set many rules. Children don’t like too many boundaries. Once they turn 3, they become more independent and audacious.
-Sometimes children tend to do certain things, just to grab attention. Give them as much as devotion you can.
-If they are having frequent mood swings, try distracting them. Rather than giving heat to their behavior, try to ignore and ask for a time-out.
-Respect their individuality, likes & choices.
-Train them regularly. Children have a high grasping power.
-Nurture their strength rather than just highlighting their weakness.
Most important, shower them with lots of love & support.