We, as parents, have several set norms for our children to follow. We always want them to be obedient and well mannered. I always want my daughter to return a thank you, greet people when she meets them, be considerate of the surroundings and apologize for her mistakes. There are several articles online and offline, which states several dos and don’ts for the child. Some say that we shouldn’t teach our child being sorry from a very young age as they are still learning and being apologetic can hamper their curiosity. But some or many states that a child learning abilities are maximum during these initial years. So, basic habits like these should be taught from their foundation.
Even I personally feel that we should be tolerant of their actions and behavior but as parents we should teach our kids basic habits since the time they are born. I have done that with my little one and she at the age of one and a half years can do many applaudable things. We just need to be patient and consistent in our efforts . Because in the training stage (all of childhood!), they still need reminders here and there.
There are no set or particular rules of parenthood but there are, for sure, several norms to be followed by us. And teaching your child these manners is one of them. So here are 10 such social manners we should work towards teaching our kids.
Say please when asking
Say thank you when asking
Say excuse me when bumping into someone
Put down the electronics when someone enters the room
Look people in the eye when speaking
Let others finish before you speak
Shake hands firmly
Open door for others
Learn to take ownership for your mistakes and say sorry
With stating these habits, I would also like to look into the other side of the situation. There may be several times that in spite of learning everything at home, a child doesn’t do any or some of the above when needed. Instead of getting upset or apologetic, lets find the reason behind such behavior. It may so happen that a child can have his/ her own worries and issues while connecting with groups or people. While we are busy teaching them these social manners , they have a social anxiety which needs our immediate attention and care. So I am stating several points, stated by Renee Jain, that a parent need to follow if your child is a socially worried child.
Nurture your child by noticing his/her needs and responding to them
Responsive mothering can help sensitive little ones learn to calm themselves and manage their reactions. This assurance is an important key in helping a child to overcome his anxiety.
Empathize with your child’s worries and avoid shaming them
Acknowledging what they feels, without negative judgement, helps them to feel good about themselves.Giving them the impression that their is something wrong with them will make them feel worse and therefore insecure. Make yourself understand that even a small one can have their fears and inhibitions and we need to address to them sensitively.
Model confident behavior with other people. Kids learn while watching them
Kids follow our actions more than our words. So whatever we want to teach them should be followed by us also. We need to be confident and relax in social events and gatherings and slowly and steadily, they will also learn to be the same.
Help your child learn how to make friends
Help them to let go of their fear of meeting new people. Teach them to greet people while meeting them, simple courtesy of starting the conversation. When they will be comfortable in that, they can easily make new friends.
Don’t label your child shy
It may so happen that in spite of your teaching your child every social skill, he/she doesn’t respond accordingly in a situation. There to cover up, don’t label your child as shy. Instead acknowledge his/her worries and points out that they can overcome them.
Don’t push your child to perform
Be patient with your child. Even if your child is not performing accordingly, keep reminding them of it. Give them some time to open up.
Don’t create social anxiety by teaching them to be afraid of strangers
Instead teach your child to be always with you or a known adult. If that known adult is with the child then he/she doesn’t have to fear the strangers. Gradually when they grew up, teach them safety skills to keep themselves safe. Fearing them from strangers will only add up to their fears and make them conscious and apprehensive of social gatherings.
Let the child express his/her feelings
Every person have a common need of expressing our feelings or fears or they get repressed. Sometimes we express them through words, sometimes through actions and several times with tears. Similarly, a child also have certain fears and feelings that need to expressed. They have their own way of doing that. Sometimes they will show a tantrum, sometimes they will cry and sometimes they will be quiet. Be a good listener and do not judge them. In a social gathering, several parents don’t want their child doing any of the above expressions for their social image. But we as parents should be more worried about our child’s worries and whether he/she is able to express their fears. And not about the place and way of expressions.
While writing this piece of information, I recalled my childhood, where I was also a social gathering repulsive kid. I was not very comfortable in speaking with strangers. I had my own fears of making new friends and trying out new things. As a result, I was a very quiet kid who doesn’t wanted to meet people often. I even had apprehensions in greeting people. My parents never got to read such articles to know the difference between a socially fearful and active child. But then everyone have a savior in life. Even I had mine. We had our new English teacher in class at the beginning of our session. She asked me a question in front of the class. And due to my fears of gatherings and judgments, I went blank. I was not able to think of anything. She kept waiting and kept the class waiting for me to take my time. She made me feel relaxed of my surroundings and people around. And thankfully I overcame my fears that day and was able to answer to her after a whooping 5 mins wait. But those 5 mins worked wonders for me. Because that day, that initial wall was broken and gradually I overcame all my fears and since then there is no stopping and looking back.
I wrote this piece of information to help parents to understand their child and accept him/her with the fears and inhibitions. We should not give up on our children. We just needs to be patient and keep trying from our end. We should give our children their time and space to learn and overcome their fears, if any. Its a long life and everyone should be given a fair chance to perform.