“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners
without seeing any.”
About 80 percent of children do not bother to say "please" and "thank you," according to a survey by a family education group. The Hong Kong Institute of Family Education's one-week study, focused on the manners of Hong Kong children who are studying in kindergarten (40.4 percent), primary school (36.5 percent) and secondary school (23 percent).
The survey found that only 25 percent of the parents correct their children whenever they are impolite, while almost 10 percent of them conceded that they never correct their kids.
There is a phrase: ‘Good manners cost nothing’ and they have long been considered as an important life skill to teach children. When we as adults demonstrate good manners in our own daily interactions with others in our immediate and wider environment, we give the message that we value them. This is important for your kids to see every day.
So, what do we mean by ‘good manners’? It’s more than just remembering to say ‘please and thank you’; it’s a whole way of living and interacting and connecting. People like those around them who consistently have good manners! They may not know why, but your way of communicating respect and connecting makes them warm to you. This is a very useful skill for children to learn. You can charm people if you learn to model good manners and instill this in your children. It’s worth remembering that good manners can open doors to new opportunities and this applies to children as well as adults. Teachers appreciate children who are polite, and are more likely to award them better grades ,even though they may not be aware of what has influenced their decision.
What should we teach and model for our children?
· Good manners are about respecting yourself and others. They will make life more enjoyable for you and for those you come into contact with. If you are well mannered, others will feel more comfortable in your company. People with good manners will usually make a positive impression on those around them.
· Do you look people in the eye when you are talking with them? Encourage your children by doing this as part of your daily communication. Make it just something you do, without teaching it explicitly.
· Do you show respect by consistently and authentically saying “please” and “thank you” to those around you?
· Do you show your appreciation to your friends’ parents/guardians when they have you in their home or help you in some special way?
· Do you teach your children to be respectful to their teachers and other adults they come into contact with and model this yourself?
Your kids absorb what you do and how you behave , so why not make a commitment to be a more respectful family? It really can transform your relationships in the family and your wider community.
How we approach manners at Dadi and Otto2?
We believe that the “old school” school approach discipline is outdated because it missed the essential element of the child’s happiness. Kids learn better when they are relaxed and happy, this is a fact. Our first priority is to ensure that the children that we teach feel safe and supported. From here, they are primed to absorb new information and it is at this stage we need to engage their interest. From here, they are learning actively, and we can teach them anything! Whilst our major focus is on language learning (Dadi Mandarin) and Arts (Otto2), we also help kids to learn skills including turn taking, active listening, self-control, self-expression, and respect.
How to book a trial class. If you would like to experience the Dadi and Otto2 method, simply get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also be interested in reading What to Do When Your Child Seems Anxious.
Developed for Dadi Mandarin and written by WOI.