Values and manners; I do not know what it was like growing up in your homes but in mine, there was a strong emphasis on both these things. And these were strictly repeated and reinforced in school, and in every given occasion. I used to think that some speeches were redundant and that, by the time I was in high school, I knew a lot of them by heart. But now, being a mother myself, I find that there really is no end to how and why you teach your kids values and manners. Someone’s values really come out in times of trouble. I have come to see that what one values will show anyone who that person is. Manners also show how a person thinks and what a person thinks is right and wrong.Both, to me, are important categories for development in children.
I consider myself still quite young. With only 3 decades under my belt and the good first of it being purely developmental, I would have to say that I certainly have not seen it all. But getting married rather young, getting separated, having two kids, and becoming a single mom to them at a very young age (them and I!); I often wonder how to teach them the things I think are important. Sometimes, I even wonder if what I think is important really is so.Let me run down the values and manners I want to teach my kids.
Manners every kid should be taught:
- When asking for something, say “Please.”
- When receiving something, say “Thank you.” Be appreciative. Gratitude is always better than expectation. When someone helps you, say “thank you.” That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
- Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
- If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation. Also, if you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.” This phrase goes a long way.
- When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
- The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends.
- Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome. Don’t call people mean names. Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel. No one likes a bully.
- When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are. But If this is going to be a long sob story, just say you are fine and return the question. Most of the time, your troubles aren’t of interest to a mere acquaintance so reserve this for friends or family.
- When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
- Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.
- When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
- Forgo foul language. A potty mouth is very unattractive.
- Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best. And one day, this might even be you.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public. Do not spit on the ground! This is unhygienic and just plain nasty.
- As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
- If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.
- When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
- Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do. Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
- Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.
- Do not shake your legs or put your elbows on the table. They show weak character, nerves, or disinterest.
Important Values to Have:
- Kindness- I find that it is always better to be kind than on the defensive.Being on the defensive is just so tiring and, often times kindness gets you better results.
- Gratitude- As I mentioned earlier, it is better to know how to be grateful than to be filled with expectation. No one person, whether stranger or family, can be exactly how you want them to be and today, not everyone even acts nicely so being grateful always results in positivity.
- Hope- Because when this is gone, there is no meaning to life.
- Respect- We live in a world colored by differences and respect for everyone and everything is paramount.
- Hard work- “Everyone has to start from some place and most often than not, it is at the bottom” This is a phrase my aunt and uncle have been teaching my cousins all their lives and it is so true.Not only does hard work pay off but it makes what is worked for all the more special.
- Faith- whatever you choose to believe in, make sure that you know it well and you believe in it wholeheartedly.
- Love- It is what a person breathes to survive. It is important to know how to give this and receive this.
- Independence- Because it is very important to know how to do things on your own, even if you have one or a multitude of people ready to do anything for you.
- Truth- Really, at the end of the day, there is nothing to be done with a stack of untruths, so why bother shelling them out or receiving them?
- Responsibility- unless you want to live on an island, you must become accountable for something or someone at some point in your life.
Both lists for manners and values were listed in no particular order so this means I consider all to be equally important.These were also listed after reflection and a lot of time with my kids. These are living lists meaning they are constantly changing as I go through life and learn myself.
What are some of the values and manners that are important to you?