Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Children are naïve about their surroundings and the consequences of their actions, but this innocence shouldn’t exempt them from learning about good social etiquette.

Good social etiquette is a requisite for a harmonious life. However, expecting a child to master this skill is something close to a myth. It’s human to commit mistakes, but children do more severe damage as they learn about their surroundings and behaviors.

Whether it’s screaming in anger in restaurants or talking loudly in libraries and churches, children can be natural troublemakers. And the worst thing is, they don’t even understand what they’re doing wrong. Unknowing and naïve about the world’s grown-up norms, children are yet to be taught what’s expected of them. Instead, they merely react and respond to their emotions without considering what others may think about their behaviors.

Let Them Be, They’re Still Children

Looking at who’s throwing tantrums and causing a ruckus, people can be forgiving when they see the suspect is an oblivious toddler. Sure, they may blame such behavior on parents and think they’ve partly failed at parenting for raising such troublesome children. But nobody would do anything to call these parents and children out or reprimand them in person.

Instead of retaliating against these patterns, people will likely let the situation go and give these children space to grow. After all, they’re still developing and have yet to consider their behaviors and equivalent consequences maturely.

During childhood, immaturity can resemble frequent tantrums and random bursts of energy or anger. Yet despite how turbulent these behaviors are and how irritating they can be, everything can be absolved because of where they stand. They’re still children. Hence, their immaturity is expected, given how little they know about manners and good social etiquette.

This is why it’s not frowned upon when children mess around in public. It’s also one of the reasons why some people may find it endearing instead of irritating. However, as parents, this tolerance shouldn’t be an excuse to miss teaching children the basics of good social etiquette.

The Significance of Tolerating Less Chaos

A good social etiquette doesn’t only help parents avoid being shamed. It’s essential to ensure children will only have peaceful and pleasant social interactions. This skill allows them to become more successful as it sets the tone for the values and virtues they will develop growing up. Lacking manners as children may often be reduced as a laughing matter, something to brush off easily. But if they carry these over into adulthood, it can cause multiple instances of arguments and aggression.

In The Song of Solomon the Snail, children are introduced to a polite and well-mannered character whom children should embody and mirror. Solomon the Snail is loved regardless of the crowd he’s with simply because he is lovely.

Readers witness the beauty and peace in life if they learn and practice good social etiquette. The book displays the advantages of forming good habits and manners. It encourages parents to spread the goodness in people’s character and instill patterns of good etiquette within children.

Everyday Tips to Build Good Social Etiquette in Children

Raising mannered children can be taxing. It’s not something children are exposed to once, and parents can automatically expect them to master. Instead, it needs to be gradually built up and practiced. Learning this pattern of behavior isn’t even linear. It takes effort and time to help pave the blooming path toward good social etiquette.

Modeling Behavior

In the early stages of their development, children typically learn by modeling. Whether gestures or verbal expressions, manners can be best instilled if exposed to the same daily pattern. This is where parents come in handy. As the people around them, parents should model the good social etiquette they wish their children to develop at home.

It sounds logical and basic, common sense. But parents often overlook how much of a not-so-good influence they can be to children. From cussing during stressful situations to not caring after their meals, these subtle behaviors can impact children’s behavioral development. They emulate the behaviors they see from their parents. Hence, the latter’s responsibility is to ensure they’re nothing but saints in front of their children. This doesn’t mean they can’t commit mistakes but should react accordingly.

Parents can start by saying “Please” and “Thank you.”

It’s easy to overlook practicing these expressions, given they interact with their children. This inconsistency alone already teaches them that it’s not a significant behavior. However, everyone deserves to be thanked and be asked a favor politely. Hence, starting at small things like this is already a crucial step for parents to model.

Offering Replacement Behaviors

Often, teaching good social etiquette is pointing out inappropriate behaviors. When children are impolite, they’re told not to do the behavior again. They’re told not to scream in anger for the public to see. But they aren’t taught the alternative they must do instead. For parents to instill better manners in children, this shouldn’t only be limited to pointing out their wrongdoings. They shouldn’t only explain why these patterns are wrong. Instead, they should also be supplied alternatives, the good manners, in exchange for the wrong ones.

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