In this fast-paced digital world, where we most often work with our laptops, iPads, and are glued to our phones, there is very little human interaction that takes place. Conversations are limited to ‘monosyllabic’ expressions, interrupted blatantly by a ‘WhatsApp notification’, diverting your attention back to the handheld device. What are our children going to learn by observing these obsessive tech-addictive traits of adults?
As parents and educators, your most important job is to teach children how to communicate with others and help the child develop good social skills. Being socially accepted by peers in class and within their neighborhood circle, gives the child confidence and boosts his self-esteem. However, true acceptance begins when the child is polite, courteous, and respectful, of everyone he interacts with.
From a young age, children need to be taught ‘golden words’ or ‘magic words’ such as; Thank You, Sorry, May I, Please, Excuse Me, etc. Time and again, emphasize to your kiddo how important it is to be gracious and follow certain rules of etiquette, not only at home but everywhere you go.
Good Manners Include The Following
- Greeting people politely
- Using golden words often
- Not interrupting someone while they are talking
- Knocking the door before entering a room
- Always being punctual and keeping your promises
- Having a presentable appearance and being well-groomed
Practice Manners & Ettiquette
- Use different scenarios and conduct role-play exercises
- Correct your child politely whenever necessary
- Model the right behavior yourself first
- Read appropriate books to them
Story Books on Manners & Etiquette
Children love glancing through books, admiring attractive illustrations, characters, and scenes from the story. A good story book has a moral, is fun to read, and is relatable to students.
Here’s a list of books you can refer to while focusing on teaching toddlers and preschoolers about manners & etiquette:
Excuse Me: A Little Book of Manners by Karen Katz
This is a perfect book for your 2-year-old tiny tots. As you turn the pages, you will come across different day-to-day scenarios that the child faces, and how he needs to appropriately respond to them. When do you say please? When to say sorry? All this is amplified in the book. From breaking toys unintentionally to burping aloud, all these instances are illustrated through pictures and the ‘golden words’ are highlighted in bold.
May I Please Have a Cookie? by Jennifer E. Morris
This book is for Level 1 Scholastic Reader and is a beautiful story between Alfie & his mom. Like every kid, Alfie has a sweet tooth and he loves his mom’s cookies. The aroma of the new batch of delicious cookies is tempting Alfie to get his hands on them as soon as he can. He tries different stunts to sneak into the kitchen and snatch a cookie. Dressing up as a cookie inspector and spying on the cookie jar, are only a few attempts he fails at. His mommy, finally explains to Alfie – that if he wants to eat a cookie, he just needs to ask politely for it. Alfie uses the magic words ‘Please may I have a cookie’ and his wishes are willingly granted.
Manners by Aliki
Manners, is a must-have on your bookshelf. Curated by the award-winning author – Aliki, Manner uses child-friendly cartoons to teach politeness, courtesy, and appropriate behavior to children. There are a few role-play exercises illustrated in the book, to help you get started. Short stories and funny characters, teach us the importance of ‘keeping other’s needs before your own’ and how you must put this to practice.
Curious George Says Thank You by Emily Flaschner Meyer
This book is about George who loves to receive ‘thank you’ cards in mail from his friend Betsy. He wants to return the favor and spread goodness by sending ‘thank you’ cards to all his friends in return, including Betsy. George starts to prepare a list of the people he wants to thank and then tracks down their addresses to whom the card needs to be delivered. Children are encouraged to use the perforated ‘thank you’ cards from the book and send it to someone they have on their mind.
So, get your hands on the above story book copies from a local library in Dubai, source it through Amazon, or simply subscribe to Reading Eggs – an e-library for children 2 – 13 years of age. It’s rather easy to download Reading Eggs on your devices and search for age-appropriate books by famous authors. Around 20 million users around the world trust the Reading Eggs platform, including parents in UAE & other GCC countries, across the Middle East.