In one of my recent classes a student of mine kept asking me why having manners was so important? In his words he said “I don’t get it? My friends don’t care if I have good manners or not?” He persistently made comments throughout the lesson and was not easily sold on its importance. Children today roll their eyes when they hear their parents say “use your manners.” What they don’t understand this early in life is how NOT having proper social skills can effect them in their future.
Having good manners is much more than knowing which fork to use or knowing when to say please and thank you. Good manners can set you apart from someone else who does not have these skills. Whether you are going to someones house for a play-date or interviewing for your first job. Parents and employers are all looking for the same things. People who can get along with other people.
My student who questioned the importance of good manners is not alone. Although it is hard for children to envision their lives as adults, it’s important we teach them how to behave starting at a young age. Point out to your child when another child is being polite and talk about how good it makes others feel when they behave that way. Ask your child to look for behavior no no’s and see if they can correct them on their own. This summer use their free time to work on their social skills. Kids love to role play! Whether you are at an amusement park or just walking threw the market, there are always opportunities to point out how we can make life a little more pleasant for those around us.