Wednesday, January 14

How To: The Importance of Good Manners

Good manners are important for children to learn, especially in their formative years of interacting socially. Whether it is in a classroom, playground or larger social engagements, good manners will help your child gain respect and make a positive impression. Here are some helpful tips to assist children in understanding and practicing proper etiquette. 

Practice basic courtesy – 

Say “please” and “thank you,” even to those you briefly encounter. People notice when you are courteous and respectful toward them. It sets a good impression and builds a foundation for strong character.
Hold doors open for other people – 

It is courteous to hold the door open for someone, even if they are a stranger. If you do not know the person, you can say “after you.” If you do know the person, you can address him/her by name. If you are unsure about whether or not a person would appreciate having the door held open, ask politely “Can I get the door for you?” This gives the individual an opportunity to accept or decline.

Speak politely – 

Be aware of the volume of your voice when speaking in a public setting. Keep in mind that speaking with a lower voice tone is encouraged especially in classrooms and other places where people are in deep thought. When engaging in conversations, it is wise to be a good listener and speak when it is your turn, rather than interrupting a person in mid-thought. 

Dining etiquette, chew politely – 

Do not chew with your mouth open. It is easy to forget this rule when having lunch with friends, but it is important to maintain in all social settings. Others around you might be distracted if you chew with your mouth open, and they may not be able to focus on finishing their food or conversation. 

Share food politely – 

Ask someone to pass you a dish or a seasoning. Never reach across a dish or someone else’s plate for something; instead, politely ask the person sitting next to you to “please pass” the desired item. It can be inconsiderate if you reach out for something across the table. For example, your hand might knock over a glass or graze the food on someone’s plate. 

Excuse yourself when leaving – 

Always try to say “excuse me” whenever you need to leave a table. It is appropriate for a child to ask an elder for permission to leave. This is important because leaving a table without excusing yourself might be abrupt, leaving others to wonder what happened. 

Contributed by: Natasha 
Photo credit: Hart Total Fitness

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