So often when we surf the internet, we come across write-ups that highlights the right etiquettes your child should learn while growing. However, like everything else to inculcate the right set of etiquettes, one should understand that is a kind of virtue which cannot be dictated or imposed upon. It is a certain set of values that the child must perceive while growing up and a positive social environment which include home, as well.
Children usually pick up what they observe at the early ages. Therefore, it is vitally important for the parents to behave in a manner they would want their child to behave. You can call this process, organic osmosis.
Parents set a very strong influence on the children and they are the best educators. Now let us delve into what are the most common things that your child is likely to observe and pick it up.
The magic word – Please
In India it is commonly observed that children grow up with a sense of entitlement. Parents in an attempt to provide the best of the things, pamper them way too much. A common example of this would be the employment of a domestic help.
Parents very rarely allow children to do things on their own and let them rely on their domestic help for the smallest of work, which might even include getting a glass of water for themselves.
Parents does this with a positive mind-set however, children see it as an ‘entitlement’ and take these luxuries for granted. If the parents use the word ‘please’ with the domestic help, it gets ingrained in the mind of the child that he has to use the word – please and there is no entitlement involved.
He will naturally develop that habit and it becomes a part of his daily lingo. It is a small and a powerful word at the same time, which conveys sensitivity and a fair and equal treatment for all.
A natural corollary to the word ‘please’ is he phrase, Thank You. It is not so commonly used but can enhance the child’s overall sensitivity. While most people think that the use of the word ‘thank you’ is formal and is not required, I choose to disagree with the same. As mentioned earlier, the sense of entitlement can be curtailed to a large extend by being courteous for the help and services rendered to us.
Always bear in mind that your child is observing you. Therefore, using the word ‘thank you’ develops a sense of gratitude. It will further make your child realise how fortunate they are to have these people around, doing the smallest act of kindness towards your child.
Difference of opinion
There are occasions when we might not share the same thought process with others and this is not different amongst children. There will come different occasions when your kids opinion will differ. It is highly recommended that instead of behaving in a rude manner, be calm and civilised. If a child observes at home that during a conflict at home, you lose your calm; chances are that they might pick up the same.
If the child observes that in these situations, elders are using expressions like ‘I beg to differ’ or “I’d like to share my point of view’, rather than witnessing an unsavoury argument, the child will imbibe the same. Ensure that your child grows up to be a cordial, affable and considerate individual.
While it might be too early to expect formal-dinning etiquettes from your child, it is certainly never too soon to try and inculcate a sense of respect for the food. Simple things such as not wasting food, not throwing food, are part of a child’s etiquette that should be encouraged so that the child grows into an adult who understands the value of a meal, and an awareness and sensitivity towards countless people who are deprived of this most basic human need.
This last etiquette aspect is perhaps the most important. It is also more skin-deep than a mere outward manner. That every child must understand the concept of equal and fair treatment towards all. Especially in the world we inhabit today, society is rife with gender bias, ill-treatment of animals, environmental degradation. I
n this scenario, we should try and set examples for our children that will make them aware, sensitive individuals who have a genuine and healthy respect for all genders, species and the planet.