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Do you know how to improve your child’s etiquette?

Team StoryWeavers|October 11, 2021|

“It took me years to learn that grace came from spine and not from dainty hands.” 

— Alison Malee

Parents of young children spend considerable time teaching their children appropriate behaviour. Most parents do this by repeatedly telling their children to do things in a certain manner, like saying thank you. However, like everything else, etiquettes need to be taught to young children and parents need to take active steps to teach their children how to be courteous and graceful, especially when it is difficult to do so. 

In this article, we will cover what parents can do to improve their child’s etiquettes. 

Tips to improve your child’s etiquettes 

Sue Edgerley’s book, Five Keys Parenting, lists a few strategies that parents can use to improve their child’s etiquettes and manners. They are as follows:

  • Model the behaviour that you would like your child to absorb. Children observe their parents closely and often try to copy how they behave. 
  • Talk to your child about why etiquettes and manners are important. It helps when parents illustrate their point with an example. For example: ‘It hurt my feelings when your friend came over to our house and did not say hello to me. I felt ignored, so when you go over to someone’s home, remember to say hello to all the house members.’ 
  • Practise good etiquette and manners at home. Parents can encourage their children to engage in role play for some select manners that children do not get to practise frequently in their everyday lives. 
  • Make use of television and other audio-visual channels. Parents can sit with their children and evaluate the behaviour displayed by characters on the screen. Parents should make an effort to point out manners and etiquette displayed by the character and the impact it had on the situation and other characters. When you see difficult behaviour on screen, parents can ask children to think about what else could have been done instead of engaging in a difficult behaviour. 
  • Ensure that meals happen on the dinner table together. It will help parents demonstrate appropriate mealtime behaviour for children and practice it together. It will also provide an opportunity for children to practise social skills. 
  • Go slow and encourage your child to practise what they have learnt. Each social situation is unique and may overwhelm the child. Prompt your child to engage in appropriate behaviour and celebrate seemingly small successes. 

Good etiquettes and manners are necessary to succeed in social situations. It can be difficult to see your child struggle with basic etiquettes, but if you are patient and consistent you shall see results in no time. Reminding children why these things are important plays a critical role in getting them to see the value in them. Remember that they will pick up these etiquettes and manners eventually, even if they seem to be struggling with it today. 

Did you find the article useful? How do you include etiquettes and manners in your child? Do share your experiences and tips in the comments below, or drop a note at [email protected]

Reference:
Edgerley, S. (2010). Five Keys Parenting. Australia: Sue Edgerley. 

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About the Author


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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as compliments unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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