Coaching kids on how to use manners to build their relationships, fix problems and feel comfortable around other people is a great start to ensure bright futures. Here are a few talking points you can use in a lesson plan, hang on their bathroom mirror or discuss around the dinner table to get them thinking about good manners.
Use Magic Words
“Please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “I’m sorry” and “excuse me” are some of the most common magic words. Even a few can make quite an impression. They are completely free, but priceless. There is no easier way to express good intentions.
If You See Someone Who Needs Help, Help!
Instead of laughing at your little sister who dropped her books in the hallway, stop and help her. Hold the door for mom, help carry the groceries from the car, help with the dishes without being asked, hand dad his hammer, open the door for people or grab a Kleenex and bring it to a person who needs one. These acts of kindness build trust and show consideration for others.
When Someone Sends You a Gift, Send a Thank You Note
Before you spend your gift money or play with a new toy, send a handwritten thank you note to the person who gave you the gift. This is an important etiquette skill that lasts a lifetime.
Eye Contact is Important
Look the person you’re speaking to in the eye; it’s a sign of respect and shows that you are listening. Even if you are in trouble, it is still important to look the person in the eye- but not with a scowl. When you enter the workplace or go to college, eye contact is essential. Without it, people will think you don’t care or have no interest in what they are saying.
Manners aren’t reserved just for Grandmas house or formal occasions. Manners are used every day with everyone we encounter. For added reinforcement, we do recommend hiring an etiquette consultant to deliver a private etiquette class, a group program or to speak at your school, club or association. Manners are the best gift we can give to ourselves and to others.
Tiffany Nielsen is a public speaker, author and business etiquette and children’s manners expert. She is co-author of the books, The Power of Civility and Incredible Business. Her company, Premier Etiquette, offers corporate and small business workshops, motivational keynote presentations, children’s manners programs, editorial content and private coaching.
© 2013 Tiffany Nielsen | Premier Etiquette. All Rights Reserved.