by Nour Khouri
If you have kids, you’ve probably experienced that sinking feeling when you notice your child doing something you never dreamed he or she would do in public. Whether it’s inserting fingers into a water goblet or pulling her flower-girl gown over her head in the middle of a wedding, odds are that there will be moments you’ve wondered whether your guidance about good manners will ever sink in. Actually, there’s simply no way to anticipate every challenge you’ll confront in your years as a parent. But knowing the proper thing to do isn’t an impossible goal – for kids or for parents. Sometimes parents just need some help in teaching their kids manners. No matter how well-educated we are about etiquette, most of us can always learn a little more.
Parents can teach the very youngest children’s rules of etiquette, long before they truly appreciate why. A child can learn to say “please” and “thank you” even while he still believes the world revolves around him. He can learn to write a thank-you note to grandma for birthday gifts even though he thinks gift-giving is just what grandma does. Even if – at the beginning – good manners mean just going through the motions, eventually a child will understand how important they are in showing others the respect they deserve. However, when etiquette is given as a fun activity the impact will be much stronger and the children will be having a build-up natural life foundation.