21 Oct Good Manners Matter
By Surabhi Tripathi
“Manners maketh a man” – this age-old proverb never fails to impress me.
My little champs have been good, polite girls. But, little things here and there needed to be mended. Their horizon was increasing and so was their vocabulary and learning which never failed to surprise me, many times pleasantly and sometimes awkwardly too. The mother and a rabble-rouser in me were trying hard to set things right.
Kids learn best in their company. I buckled myself to take up this challenge.
Diva’s birthday bash, that I celebrated with McDonald’s, helped me handle it. “Now, who is going to play a little game called – Manners?” I asked dramatically.
I laid down a few simple rules.
“This game would go on for a month, and a big gift is assured when we meet up next” I told them.
Trust me, dear readers, my colony turned into a temple of politeness for a month (rolling in the aisles) and even later as I did succeed in sowing the seedis of “mannerisms” and didn’t miss reinforcing it.
Never blame a kid for misbehaving. It’s you who have to groom him.
We made a circle and discussed “What good mannerisms are?”
Don’t take the kids lightly, they are from the 007 fraternities. I was bombarded with answers which were absolutely satisfying.
1 Use Thank You if someone offers you something or some favour (kudos kiddos)
2 Say ‘Sorry’ if you make a mistake (well said yet again)
3 Use ‘Please’ if you wish to ask for something.
4 Never interrupt when two people are talking. Say “Excuse me” and wait for them to respond.
5 Never make fun of your friend or anyone for that matter. Bullying someone is mean.
6 Offer help to your parents and to your friends. Don’t grumble, just do it with a smile.
7 Cover your mouth if you a cough or sneeze and don’t pick your nose in public.
8 Share: your toys, your books
9 Do not comment on the physical appearance of people unless it is a compliment. Don’t use words like fat, dark, bald or ugly.
10 Settle your fights by talking. Don’t push, don’t hit, don’t be loud and nasty.
Now there was 1 point each if the expected behaviour pattern was adhered to. No minus points, but the kids were asked to remind their peers of the game and the gift, whenever they strayed from the set pattern.
Children excitedly reported their progress and the points, at the end of the day. It was fun talking to them.
A five-year-old girl, Ananya stood first and got a lovely barbie doll from me (Actually from her mum who was super pleased to see the transformation). I gave her a princess umbrella and a raincoat. Proud mothers distributed chocolates to other kids too, saying they might be the winner next time. This exercise only resulted in immense gratification for the teacher and preacher in me.