Etiquette isn’t about being prim and proper, it’s a foundation for social interactions to treat each other with consideration and respect. If you keep this in mind, you can see the value of instilling manners in your kids from an early age. Sort of a “treat others how you wish to be treated” premise. Teaching kids manners will have lifelong benefits including positive social interactions, respect from peers and coworkers, building self-esteem and creating empathy for others.
I recently attended a luncheon where the speaker taught business etiquette; conversational distances, cultural differences, eye contact, networking and business meeting protocol. It was interesting, but primarily common sense. What was more interesting were the questions being asked of the speaker – “when do you do this…, is it appropriate to …, how should you respond to…” etc. It made me stop and ponder that what I consider appropriate behaviours might not be the same as you do. Having said that, there are some social norms that are universal – for adults, for children, in business and in day-to-day life.
Manners guru Emily Post offers courses teaching kids manners, and books that you can buy with the formal rules, but I was looking to compile a more casual, everyday listing. I didn’t focus on outdated rules like “speak only when spoken to” or “respect your elders” because I believe we all have a voice and that we earn respect. I did include a few protocols that Emily didn’t touch on like internet etiquette – which may or may not be in the realm of manners, but are worth learning and teaching our kids.
Etiquette for Kids free printable
Manners, politeness, etiquette are all about creating a comfortable environment. Exercising manners creates a positive experience for the people around you which will in turn, become a positive experience for you.
These habits will eventually become ingrained so that you no longer have to remind the littles “What do you say?” and the lifelong impact will be invaluable.
Just remember, the best way to teach children anything, is to lead by example.
Have a great one!