Have you taught your kids manners yet?
Most Indian parents do not even realise where their kids are showing a poor display of manners.
Just the other day, I was sitting with a friend of mine and the conversation veered towards the challenges of parenting.
My friend shared that a few years ago when her daughter was a toddler she would sometimes arrange play dates for her with another friends’ son who was around the same age. But the little boy would often hit my friends’ daughter.
What bothered my friend was that the boy’s mum would never stop her son. When this happened quite a few times, my friend lost her cool and hit back the boy with a gentle pat.
Just then, the boy’s mum turned around and told my friend how it was so shocking that she was hitting a kid.
When my friend said that she only did it because the kid had been hitting her daughter all along, all hell broke loose.
Her friend was of the view that her son was just a baby and what he was doing should have been ignored. My friend disagreed and well, the friendship was never the same again.
The small incident spoiled their relationship and today they are no longer friends.
While, I agree, that what my friend did was extreme and she shouldn’t have hit the kid even jokingly but I do understand her frustration of seeing a fellow parent doing nothing to teach their kid basic manners.
How do you teach basic manners to your kids
As a parenting writer, it comes naturally for me to observe child and parent behaviour. And I have often found that most Indian parents do not even realise where their kids are showing a poor display of manners.
They either ignore it or even worse just smile along as if being a child issues some license of sorts for bad behaviour. While each parent, have their own reasons for not chiding their kids publicly, but unknowingly by not controlling their kids they are encouraging their bad behaviour.
Not only this, they are also displaying bad parenting that may end up affecting their relationship with other parents too.
Observe and act
As a parent, your first duty should be to observe any bad behaviour being displayed by your child and act on it before anyone else does.
Most fellow parents even though they realize that another child is behaving badly either ignore it or try to justify his behaviour so that they do not come across rude.
So, the first and only responsibility rests on the parents of the child. If you feel that your child ha pushed another child playing with them do not wait to act only if the other child got hurt.
Tell them to be careful but your duty should not stop there. Once you are back home, tell them again that next time when we are out you need to be careful that you do not push or shove another child because that makes mama/papa very sad.
Make a manners chart
It may not be a bad idea to have good manners chart at home. Sit with your child during the play hours or any leisure time and ask them to circle the good manners they already practice.
Once in a while reward them with a toy or a book if they have displayed good behaviour. And it could be something as simple as wishing everyone in the room or helping a small child in the gathering during play.
The foundation you need to set is to teach caring for fellow children and it solves half your problems. Once in a week, sit with your child and list all the good activities your child may have accomplished and encourage them for more.