I have two young daughters. Their ages are three and one year. I am constantly working with them to raise them to be decent young ladies. I want them to be polite to people they know and especially to people they don’t know. I want my girls to make a good first impression when people meet them.
The first two manners that I think to be the most important for their age is “please” and “thank you.” As small children, they cannot always get things or do things for themselves and they must ask for help. I expect them to say “please” when they ask for help and to say “thank you” after some has helped them. I also try to work with them to say “please” and “thank you” to one another as well.
The next most important manner is to say, “I’m sorry.” This manner is very important because everyone has accidents and we need to take responsibility for them. An easy way for a child to learn this is by teaching them to say “I’m sorry” when they make a mistake. When they say something mean or rude they need to be made aware that it is unacceptable behavior. They must be taught to apologize for wrong doings so they can learn to take responsibility for their actions.
The next manner that I feel is important is excusing yourself. Whether it be getting up from the table after a meal or stepping way from a social situation, excusing yourself is the nice way to let people know that you would like to stay but you have other things to attend to. Most children don’t learn this manner while they are young. People laugh when a child burps or passes gas, but the child needs to learn that this is not preferred behavior. We wouldn’t want them to grow up thinking that burping and passing gas in public and bringing it to people’s attention is proper. We would be very embarrassed if they were to act like that as adults.
Another manner that is important to children is about talking in usually quiet places such as church or the library. I think children benefit greatly from being exposed to these kinds of places so they can learn to develop what we call their “indoor voices.” I take my children to church almost every Sunday and I expect them to be quiet and respectful to other people who have come there to worship. I want my girls to learn respect for their elders in this manner. I also take my girls to the library every Saturday. I think that it is important to share the gift of reading with your children. I allow them to pick out their own books and we set aside a special time to read every night before they go to bed. This time of reading teaches them to use their ears and not their mouths. When children learn to stop and listen, I think they become better learners as well as better company..