kids

Don't judge me, but... I'm horrified that parents aren't teaching their kids better manners.

Hey fellow mums and dads, I know it’s a crazy life, I know we’re all busy but manners are still important, ok?

It seems that for some parents, teaching your child common manners has dropped significantly down on the priority list.

Of course I’m talking about saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. That’s the basics. But I’m also talking about table manners, social graces, generally just saying to the rest of the people living around you ‘Hey! I’m not a dick!”

I think I’ve lost track of the number of kids I’ve seen snatch an object from the hands of an adult while mum stands there, no plans to prompt a thank you or pull the child up on their rudeness.

istock

Do they think that their child is cute, they can get away with it? Let me tell you something. No one thinks your child is as cute as you do and where you see cute, other people see brat.

Maybe it’s just me who gets put off by seeing someone holding their knife and fork like battle weapons, stabbing their food with thumbs pointed to the roof. Perhaps I’m the only one dry retching when someone makes a disgusting snorting noise at the table, letting us all know of the contents of their sinuses. I’m guessing it’s also just me wondering if a bathroom might be a better choice of location for picking the leftover food out of your teeth?

Was there a public vote that I missed which said we no longer let people inside a lift out before we push our way in? Maybe it was the same one that said we don’t need to tell our children to chew quietly and finish their mouthful before speaking.

Teach your child proper table manners. (istock)

Please mums and dads, teach your children patience. Don’t let them continually interrupt a conversation and if they do need your attention, a simple ‘excuse me’ acknowledges the impact they’re had. It's really not that hard.

Manners are a choice. They are a choice that we make about how we want to behave with other people, how we want to represent ourselves. They say so much about us as individuals and yet they cost nothing. Manners are progressive and positive and speak volumes. They are quite simply a way of being polite, civil and respectful.

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I’m saying it. Manners are not an outdated ideology left over from times gone by but rather they are an essential component of cohabiting with other people and interacting with courtesy and respect. Perhaps in a digital age where we are far more involved with each other online than in person, manner are even more important. Through simple manners we demonstrate the public consciousness that we should all have which shows an understanding of how your behaviour affects other people.

Manners are also an ideal mechanism for teaching a child that the world sadly does not revolve around them. Parents who fail to make this unfortunate reality clear to their children are only doing them a disservice. As your child begins to spread their wings and explore relationships outside of the house, their social skills will fail them and their inability to be polite, to share, to wait their turn will impact their ability to form friendships. 

Teach your child to share from an early age (istock)

Teaching your child good manners is a gift which will keep giving for the rest of their lives. Most of us would agree that we want polite, well mannered kids but it’s not just going to happen magically without parents making clear the expectation.

Manners should be automatic and the only way that they will become so is if we as teachers show our children through example and reminder that manners matter.

Of course my children are not perfect, far from it but childhood is a time of learning and part of that learning is manners. The way I see it, it’s my job to make my children independent. I need to give them the skills to succeed in life. Call me old fashioned by basic manners are the foundation they need to learn for everything else to build on.

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