The days of "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father knows Best" are over but why does the belief that children should be taught manners die as well. Manners are something that are taught and then reinforced. The school where my children attend have a special time separated to teach kids the basics of having manners. What I have noticed is that in many cases the lessons of manners are lost on kids who have no commitment from their home life. We should not blame the children if they lack manners since menners are learned from parents but we should look close at ourselves. The lessons we teach our children are more powerful in actions. Our children, no matter their age, will always be watching what we do and begin to realize if what we say is not the same as what we do. Lets us look at some of our actions in manners that will have a lasting impression on our children.
Acknowledge people of all ages
We sometimes think that the conversations we have with other adults are all that matter and have very little regard to what children have to say. Many times the things our children have to say are not that important but we need to remember that what our children have to say at the moment they say it is extremely important to them. Manners dictate that we must acknowledge our children by giving them our complete attention. The lesson learned will be that everyone matters and we give our attention to those who ask of it. We would have considered rude if we treated adults the way we treat children when it comes to communication. Children would want for us to talk with them and not just at them.
The 6 key phrases of manners
Saying please, thank you, excuse me, hello, good- bye, and sorry are key phrases that we must use in our daily language. By using those 6 key phrases in our daily language our children will begin to pick up those words and use them as well. The 6 key phrases must be taught in a lesson but then the reinforcement will come in the form of our actions. Let us teach our children to say the key phrases so that manners can be carried with them into adulthood.
Manners through body language
What we say through our words is only part of what we are trying to say. Our body language can sometimes shout louder than our words. We must always be conscious of not only what we say but the body language we make known while talking. If our children come to us with a story that is almost the same story they told us half hour ago make sure they still feel important by controlling our body language. We should not have our arms crossed and eyes wondering around but we should give them the attention that they deserve.