You never think that it is your parental duty to teach your children good manners. You assume they will learn it by themselves. Unless you inculcate good manners in your children at a young age you find it very difficult to teach them at a later stage.
I was having a nap when the doorbell rang shrilly. I opened the door to see my friend’s daughter with her children. I hugged her with delight as it was a long time since I saw her.
But soon my delight turned into alarm by the unruly behavior of her children. I had not seen such disobedient and misbehaved children in my life. They were all over the house, running noisily and shouting at the top of their voice.
There was a swing inside my house. I always sit in it while reading a book. There was a big fight between her children as to who should be the first to play in it. The swing rocked dangerously high to knock down my favorite flower pot. It crashed into pieces with a deafening sound. I cringed inside in helpless anger.
But my friend’s daughter never seemed to mind the ruckus her children were creating. She was happily chatting with me while I was trying very hard to keep the irritation from showing in my face. That was not all. Her children literally fought for the snacks I gave them. They threw the chocolate papers around making a mess of my house.
I am sorry to say that I felt happy when she got up to bid adieu. I felt relieved when her uncontrollable children tromped off after their mother. ‘Phew! That was bad!’ I told myself.
‘The hardest job kids’ face today is learning good manners without seeing any’. Fred Astaire
Do you feel your children are too young to be taught good manners?
You are wrong.
- Teach them young. They learn fast.
- Teach them late. They never learn.
Top 5 good manners you should teach your children
1. They should not intrude into your conversation with others
- Your children intrude unnecessarily when you are conversing with your friends\colleagues\relatives.
- They say unnecessary things which makes you feel uncomfortable.
- They behave insolently to show how much they dominate you.
It is true that children are children anywhere. But they are children only to you. When they misbehave with your friends or relatives it irritates them.
- You should teach your children not to interfere when you are talking with elders.
- If at all they have something to tell you advise them to say ‘excuse me’ before intruding into your conversation.
- Tell them to talk to you in a respectful voice.
- Ask them to be brief.
- Guide them to say ‘thank you’ when your friends\colleagues give them gifts.
‘Should my children behave in an artificial manner with me’ you might well argue. Good manners is not artificiality. It helps them in future.
2. They should behave with decorum when they are outside also
Do your children run around while you go shopping?
Do they make a nuisance of themselves by shouting at each other?
You see children behaving like this in many public places.
You feel highly irritated, don’t you?
What is the reason behind such unruly behavior of your children?
- When you are too strict with them at home your children let loose when they are outside.
- Do not restrict them too much at home.
- Give them enough freedom to behave like children.
- They should feel free with you.
Children who are given liberty at home never let off their steam in public. They behave with restraint when they are outside. When you hamper their freedom at home, they always want to chill out when they go out. And they chill out in a very troublesome way indeed!
3. Teach them the pleasure of sharing.
You should teach your children the essence of sharing when they are very young.
Most of you teach your children to keep their things very carefully.
But have you ever taught them the intense pleasure of sharing?
Do you throw away the toys and dresses of your children when they grow up?
Give them to underprivileged children.
- Throw toys which are too damaged.
- Do not give them torn clothes.
- Make sure everything is in perfect condition before you give it to deprived children.
- Sharing does not mean giving damaged things.
- It spoils the very concept of sharing.
Take your children to an orphanage and give those toys and dresses to the deprived orphans. Your children feel happy when they see the pleasure in the eyes of the deprived children.
‘Sharing gives so much happiness to others and to me’ the young mind of your children instantly learns this beautiful manner of sharing. They grow up with good qualities of being humane and compassionate.
4. Teach them never to lie
Do you punish your children strictly for their small mistakes?
- When you yell at them they fear you.
- They tell lies to escape your anger.
- When they begin to say lies they get used to it.
- They become perpetual liars.
Do not punish them when they make mistakes. Guide them to never commit mistakes again and again. You should tell them that they lose their credibility if they lie often.
Teach them that it is better to own up mistakes than to hide behind lies. You too should set a role model by not lying. If you lie and advice your children not to lie, they are confused at your contradictory behavior.
5. Teach them that all are equal
Do you bring up your children as it they were something out of the world?
Do not ever do that.
You should make them feel special by loving them.
- Make sure that you do not teach them discrimination against religion, caste or color.
- They should be grounded and down to earth.
- This is a must for your children to survive in this world when they grow up.
- They should be taught not to tease physically and mentally challenged children.
- When you order your children sternly they never obey you.
- Talk to them reasonably they obey you instantly.
- Appreciate each and every good manners of your children.
- It makes them behave better and better.
Your children are like clay when they are young. You can mold them as you want. You cannot mold your children when they are grown as they are hardened and have their own rules. Start teaching good manners to your children when they are very young. Their tender mind easily catches whatever you say and replicates it to perfection.