It’s never too early to teach kids the value or right etiquette. Here are 10 rules they should be aware of to be considered well-mannered.
Say please and thank you
Saying please, thank you and sorry are part of basic etiquette, but it’s never enough to remind kids of these. ‘Excuse me’ is another phrase you can teach them, which for instance, comes in handy when they want to interrupt a conversation.
Stand when greeting someone
When someone visits, teach kids to stand up and welcome them. When they leave, they should stand up and say goodbye and, even better, see them off at the door or apartment gate. Point out that an absent-minded or distracted greeting is not the right etiquette and praise them when they get it right.
Make polite conversation
When relatives or friends come over, kids can be taught at a young age to respond politely with a “I am fine, how are you?” when guests ask them how they are doing.
Cover your mouth to cough
Explain to kids why it’s important to cover their mouth when coughing and sneezing so that it prevents from germs being passed around.
Use a napkin
Kids must learn to keep a napkin in their laps while eating, especially when dining out, and to wipe their hands and mouth when done. They should also not talk with their mouths full.
Don’t pick your nose
It’s never a good idea to pick your nose, especially in public. Tell kids how these habits are unhygienic and look unseemly.
Make way for people
Whether they’re running in the park or walking on a street, teach them to be aware of their surroundings and get out of the way if someone is walking past. If you’re at a movie or waiting in line, teach them to leave space to make movement easy for others.
Don’t become the centre of attention
Taking kids along when you go out in gatherings of adults or a few kids is an opportunity to teach them to not throw tantrums or attract attention to themselves. You can carry some colouring sheets or a book for older kids, so that they learn to stay busy without trying to grab the limelight. Explain to them how it’s good etiquette to give adults their space.
Take up chores at home
Get kids to set and clear the table or pick up the tray once the guests have left. Give them an area that’s exclusively theirs, such as a study table or bookshelf, and make sure they know it’s their responsibility to keep it clean and tidy.
Respond when someone calls
When an adult calls out, instead of staying buried in a book, a child should be taught to respond with a “yes” and drop everything to go up to the family member. If they can’t, they should still respond with a “Give me a minute”.
Don’t point at people
It’s impolite to point, is something we were all taught at a young age. Nobody likes it if someone points at them, do they? It’s also impolite to talk about people behind their backs. Teach your kids these values, which will help them as they grow older.