By Krystal Tan
“Good Manners Will Open Doors That The Best Education Cannot.” – Clarence Thomas
As society evolves, many things change, including social norms and societal beliefs. One thing though that will never change is what makes up good manners and etiquette, and its importance. Equip your children with this knowledge and it will do them a lifetime of good.
What are etiquette and manners?
Etiquette refers to the customary code of polite behaviours within a society, social class or group, while manners are the polite behaviours that reflect an attitude of consideration, kindness and respect for others.
A well-mannered individual always remembers his “Please” and “Thank you” and never interrupts others during a conversation. Etiquette provides the form or structure within which good manners operate.
Good etiquette and social manners are essential life skills that enhance the personal, social and emotional development of every individual. It forms an important part in the development of every child is best taught when young. A child with good etiquette and mannerism will naturally grow up to become a confident and respectable adult with strong social and communication skills.
Having good manners also allows a child to get along well with others, which is vital for his future success. The child will perform better in life when he is well-liked by others and people find it a pleasure to be with him.
As a child starts to form his social circles and continuously expands his circle of friends, the many interactions make it important for the child to cultivate the appropriate manners and build the awareness of others and respect for others.
The following are essential manners that children should be taught from a young age:
1. Polite Words
It is never too early to introduce polite words such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’ to a child even if he is just a tot. When a child hears these polite words often enough, he will naturally pick up the words and learn to use them as well. Polite words will never be overused and it makes your child a nice young gentleman or lady.
2. Good Behaviour
Good words come with good behaviours, such as queuing in line, not interrupting when others are speaking, giving up seats for others who need it more than you and holding the door for others. The above are essential manners we need to instil in our children at a young age to allow them to become good habits that they keep for life.
3. Respect for Others
Respect is a way of showing care and consideration for people, animals, places and things. How we treat people often determines how others will treat us. If we are considerate and respectful, it is easier to get along with one another. Teach your child the golden rule of great respect early in his development.
4. Personal Grooming
Share with your child the need to maintain good hygiene and dress appropriately for the right occasion. Brushing teeth at least twice a day and washing hands before every meal are examples of good hygiene that will, in turn, cultivate good habits and behaviours.
5. Poised Table Manners
Children have the natural tendency to eat in an unsightly manner, especially if they have just started learning how to use utensils. As parents, we need to provide the proper guidance and show our children how they can take their meals without making a mess. Good table manners are essential for every individual and are best learned from young.
Before a child starts picking up any unhealthy behaviours or showing any signs of poor manners, equip them with the right manners and behaviours and make it a habit for them to practice so every day. The best teacher to good manners is you, the parent. Be a good role model to your child by being a well-mannered parent and your child will do the same.
Krystal Tan is the founder of Krystal Charm Etiquette Academy, a well-established training provider that specialises in etiquette training and character education for children and youths. Learners will pick up essential life skills to value add to their overall learning and development. Parents who wish to make a positive difference in your child’s social and emotional development can visit Krystal Charm Etiquette Academy Year End Holiday Workshops and enrol your child in the many interactive curriculums.