During my son’s first week of preschool, he was invited over to a friend’s house. I was so excited to share the news, but my son immediately replied with: “I don’t want to go play with him.” Yikes! Not the reaction I was expecting! But, as the adult, I assumed I knew best and decided to invite my son’s classmate over to our house anyway.
A few days later, the boy came over and I began to make lunch for the two of them. Right away, the friend refused everything I offered to cook. He then demanded to go out and play on the trampoline. I watched my son sulkily follow him out there. Curious, I watched the boys through the window and, to my surprise, the child pushed my son down. Hard! As soon as my son stood up, the boy pushed him down again!
Sometimes, lessons can only be learned through mistakes. And that day, I learned that it is important to trust our children and to talk through things with them. I should have listened to my son and known he had a reason for not wanting to play with this child.
Second, I realized the importance of teaching manners to children, and I needed to make sure my children knew how to play at others’ homes. Play is how children learn, how they explore, how they develop motor skills, and when engaged with playmates, it offers valuable lessons in compromise, courtesy, and respect and kindness to others, i.e. manners.
So what are the common manners every child must know? We found the most comprehensive answers in Kay West’s books How to Raise a Lady and How to Raise a Gentleman. For your convenience, we turned the list into a printable chart to hang on the refrigerator or in your child’s bedroom as a reminder of how to behave when at someone else’s home.
Source: How to Raise a Lady Revised and Updated: A Civilized Guide to Helping Your Daughter Through Her Uncivilized Childhood (Gentlemanners and How to Raise a Gentleman Revised and Updated: A Civilized Guide to Helping Your Son Through His Uncivilized Childhood (Gentlemanners)