Being a parent is not easy. But, on the positive side, all the hard work you put into raising a child allows you to have a direct impact on future members of society, especially if you take the time to raise your child with certain essential manners.
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They’re all things that you’ve probably been taught for as long as you can remember, but if you need a refresher on these life principles, as many of us do, keep reading and learn about 10 of them.
1. Saying “Excuse Me”
The phrase, “Excuse me” is appropriate to say after you cough or sneeze or if you need to walk so closely to someone that you nearly come in contact with them.
If kids are not taught to say it, people may get the impression they are self-centered, entitled, and even on a power trip propelled by pompousness.
When instructing your children about why this mannerism is important, be sure to mention that saying “Excuse Me” indicates self-awareness instead of making people think that they are stuck up.
2. Good Treatment Of Animals
Whether they are pets or wildlife, animals greatly enhance our lives.
It is crucial to teach your children to be stewards of animals whenever possible and not do things that could scare them.
For example, if your child comes across a kitten that is up in a tree and too scared to get down, it would be appropriate to get someone who can provide help, or even try to speak to the kitten immediately in a kind voice to try to coax it down.
A child who has not been taught to treat all creatures well might be tempted to shout at or mock the frightened critter or even throw things at it.
Showing a willingness to be obedient is necessary for many aspects of life.
It may come into play when your child becomes old enough to drive so they understand the rules of the road and how important it is to follow them.
Obeying laws that relate to driving and being on the road doesn’t just keep people from getting speeding tickets or other traffic-related infractions, but could safeguard against loss of life and injuries.
Obedience could also become a major factor if your child decides to enter military service, or even when they are at school and need to abide by certain things that a teacher asks.
4. Desire To Protect The Planet
The manners a child has can also extend to how they behave when spending time outside.
If a youngster knowingly leaves litter lying on the ground after a picnic and doesn’t stop to put it in a nearby trash can or picks wildflowers in an area that is designated as a protected space where disturbing the surroundings is prohibited, they probably haven’t been taught manners about how crucial it is to treat the planet properly and do what is within one’s power to protect it.
Indeed, matters like climate change seem so far out of reach that many people balk at even trying to influence things for the better.
However, you can always remind your kids that doing their part for environmental sustainability isn’t as difficult as it seems, especially if it’s driven by an awareness of the surroundings.
If kids remember to realize that they are not the only ones enjoying a space such as a park or hiking trail, they will be more likely to abide by the “leave no trace” mindset.
You can also help them get into the habit of doing things like recycling, a practice that is easy to do and has a meaningful impact on the planet.
5. Respect For Elders
Children should also be taught to be respectful towards people who are older than themselves.
That may mean showing respect towards grandparents or camp counselors, and this principle could also have a positive effect on things you deal with as a parent.
After all, if a child knows to respect their elders, that includes respecting you as a parent.
6. Saying “Please” And “Thank You”
Teaching your children to say “Please” and “Thank You” is something you can do as soon as they are old enough to use words.
Emphasize that you will not just blindly give them the things they ask for unless they do so politely.
The same goes for how they receive the items.
If they merely snatch things out of your extended hand rather than showing verbal appreciation for them, that’s a habit that you need to break by teaching them the proper manners.
7. Being Aware of Vulnerable People
You can mention to your kids that certain members of society, such as those who are homeless, disabled or elderly, are at a higher risk of having more difficult lives, being targeted by unscrupulous people or otherwise encountering things that others might not.
Discuss how doing something as simple as giving up a seat on a bus so an elderly person can have it is a meaningful way to show awareness of these marginalized groups.
8. Showing Empathy
Efforts should be made so children learn from an early age that they need to consciously try to display empathy towards others.
In many cases, people do not take the necessary steps to understand that the ways they view certain situations may not be reflective of reality.
For example, individuals can sometimes make quick assumptions about the situations others are in and not intuitively understand that there are likely many factors at play.
When kids know how important it is to put themselves in the positions of other people who are going through different experiences, they are more likely to show empathy rather than making snap judgments.
Further Reading: What Are Empaths? 14 Empath Traits And Scientific Theories
9. Being Honest
There are lots of things in this world that might persuade kids to be untruthful, especially if they are trying to impress others.
However, a person who lies often will typically get a reputation for being a person others do not want to be around because they might ask
“If he/she lies about that, what other things have I heard that also were not truthful?”
Also, honesty is a quality that leads to other good traits, such as trustworthiness.
When teaching manners to your kids, be sure to focus on how important it is to tell the truth.
10. Not Interrupting
If a person constantly interrupts, that is arguably one of the surest signs that they do not have proper manners.
Although it’s natural for some people to interrupt from time to time when they get overly excited, it is not a good thing if those individuals are always trying to butt in and have their say.
Coach your children to understand how everyone has a right to speak and they need to wait for their turns instead of trying to seize the spotlight.
These 10 mannerisms are essential for any well-raised child to have.
However, if your children do not possess all of them yet, there’s no need for despair.
Many manners are gradually acquired and become more obvious with time.