While I believe it’s ultimately the parents responsibility to ensure that their kids learn proper etiquette, in reality, children just aren’t learning these skills at home. Schools can play a major role in building these very special skills.
Since the goal of education is to prepare an individual to be well adjusted for future life, it may be important to introduce weekly etiquette classes to growing children so they can learn to build proper behaviour.
Even though most people believe that etiquette and good manners are essential to any civilization, there is so little done to help children acquire these skills. We think that schools are an important place to teach etiquette because schools are the center space of learning for children. They are places where students share space, commonalities and differences as people, which makes for a wholesome learning experience. It also makes it easier for direct application of etiquettes learnt.And let’s face it! There are some etiquettes kids can’t learn from home e.g. dance and dating etiquettes, – things they are most likely to participate in as they get older.
Things like boys would hold doors for girls, boys would allow girls to eat first if there was food in class, boys would offer to take a girl’s bag before she sat down and boys would offer to seat the girl at her desk. Things as these can be taught and applied in the class everyday.
Of course, the girls may also choose to decline.
Things like girls must speak softly, walk in a certain manner and sit with legs closed or crossed depending on the situation etc. And these are to mention a few in the very broad topic – Etiquette.
Your child’s school may not teach it as most do not in Nigeria, but you could try to help your children grow into enviable individuals.
- Respect each other’s personal space.
- Respect each other’s belongings.
- Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking.
- Be on time for dinner.
- Say “Please” and “Thank you.”
- Don’t text or talk on your mobile phone during a family meal.
- Chew with your mouth closed.
- Don’t yell or call each other names.
- Pick up after yourself so someone else doesn’t have to do it.
- Listen to Mom and Dad and do what they say