Most children behave on instinct, unsure whether it is in their best interests. On the other side are teachers who want their kids to know how to behave but don't know where to start. You may teach etiquette to children in a variety of methods, the most essential of which is by leading by example and remaining consistent.
Etiquette is an important quality that should be taught at a young age because it is difficult to unlearn negative habits once acquired. As a teacher, you should be aware that from the moment you have the responsibility for the child, you become a role model for them. That means if you are patient with children, the children will be as well. Similarly, if you possess good manners, the children will as well. The greatest method to teach children is to model it before them and ensure they learn something new and valuable from you every day.
Basic Etiquette that Must Be Taught to Kids
1. Polite greetings
Greeting someone is a gesture of respect towards the other individual. Teach children to welcome their peers by name or inquire if they are unfamiliar. Elders should be addressed as ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’, as this is how elders in India are addressed. When it comes to good manners and etiquette for children in India, respect in the form of polite greetings is a fundamental aspect.
2. Maintain eye contact while talking
This is also another fundamental etiquette that you should instill in kids. Tell them that it is proper manners to maintain eye contact while conversing with anyone. Looking in the eye is, without a doubt, the simplest yet most effective approach to building a connection with someone.
3. Attentive and active listening
People value individuals who pay attention. Tell children that active listening is a skill that will help them advance in life. Active listeners leave a lasting impression on others around them. It is a really basic etiquette tip, but one that creates an indelible impression. Teach them to pay attention first and then speak.
4. Basic table manners
Children are notorious for being picky eaters and making a mess wherever they eat. It's not their fault – they are simply learning how to eat. You should teach kids basic table etiquettes such as not overfilling their plate, taking only what they need, not leaving food on plates, holding spoons correctly, and ensuring that food does not drip on their clothes and hands.
5. Never stare at anyone
This is something that almost all children do, and most of the time, it is accidental. While there's nothing wrong with gazing at something attractive, some individuals may take offense and object. So, it's always a good idea to teach kids not to stare at anyone.
6. Use thank you, please, etc.
This is one of the simplest and most fundamental etiquette tips you can instill in children, like:
- When requesting, say 'please'.
- When receiving, say 'thank you'.
- When interrupting someone or entering a room, say 'excuse me'.
- Before entering a room, knock on the door.
7. Cover mouth while sneezing
Children must be taught to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze. Also, teach them not to pick their nose in public because it is not only unsanitary and off-putting but also reflects poorly on their upbringing.
8. Point of view
Teach your child that if they have an unfavorable opinion about someone or something, they should keep it to themselves or express them among friends. Teach them not to comment on other people's eating habits, appearance, skin color, etc. If they do, remind them that it is unkind to make judgments about people's physical characteristics and external behavior.
9. Don't be arrogant, boastful, or loud
Teach your students to always maintain self-control and excellent taste when in polite company. Their tone of voice, mannerisms and even wardrobe should exude understated elegance. Explain to them about not bragging about their achievements, as a well-mannered person doesn't need to brag.
Help kids recognize the importance of time – both theirs and others’. If they absolutely must be late because of an emergency, they should let the other person know.
Ways to Teach Kids Basic Etiquette
Kids always look for role models, and at an early age, teachers serve as role models. So, you must lead by example to teach them basic etiquette.
- Talk politely and gently with other people, and kids will follow you and learn this basic aspect of etiquette.
- Greet students, and ask them to greet you back. This way, they will make it a habit to greet older people.
- It takes time to develop good etiquette. Remember to compliment children whenever they use basic etiquette. If they don't, simply remind them that they need to use the correct word or conduct themselves differently.
- Use lunch breaks to teach kids basic table manners.
- Conduct small tasks or skits to teach children basic etiquette and provide them with constructive feedback.
- Don't lose patience, and continue to set an excellent example for your students.
Every kid has to learn etiquette to mature into responsible and noble citizens. Teaching etiquette to children will help them grow into effective friends, family members, and professionals as adults. Your hard work and effort in teaching kids fundamental etiquette will equip them with the skills they need to function in a civilized world. It is common for students to make a few etiquette errors now and then, and it is your responsibility to fix them and move on. You must provide students with the freedom to continue their etiquette education effectively and grow alongside them.