How your kids behave is not only a reflection on them; it is a reflection on YOU. These days, it seems as if parents put too much responsibility on the schools and day care systems to mold their children into socially acceptable adults. Make sure these items below are already included in what you are teaching your kids etiquette-wise:
* When shopping, do not touch items in the store. They do not belong to you.
* It is perfectly ok not to talk to strangers.
* Always say please and thank you.
* Do not hit other children.
* Share your toys.
* Brush your teeth every morning and every night.
* Do not wander off without telling your parents where you are going.
* When eating dinner at a friend’s house, make sure you try a little bit of everything so as not to offend your friend’s parents.
* Do not interrupt. When someone is on the phone, let them hang up before talking to them.
* Do not swear.
Remember, the learning of kids’ etiquette begins in the home. Your children will follow exactly what you do, so make sure your etiquette is in role-model tip top shape. Sometimes, though, all the preparation and leading by example do not work. In that instance, explaining to the child how their behavior is seen by others might do the trick in curbing the unwanted behavior. For example, if little Jimmy refuses to share with his cousin, Ben, if Jimmy is asked how he would feel if Ben would not share his toys with him, putting himself in Ben’s shoes might help him see the situation in a new light.
This may sound like a lot of hard work, mentoring and effort, but, your kids are your responsibility. You are doing them a favor by keeping at them at a young age to behave in a socially acceptable manner (without turning them into boring Stepford children – a little mischief never hurt anyone!) and although they probably are complaining about it now, they will definitely thank you when they get older!
Photo: 123rf/Jasmin Merdan