Manners and social skills matter everywhere

Manners and Social Skills Matter in School and Sports

Manners and social skills matter everywhere we go. This series I’ve been writing lately has been designed to show the importance of teaching manners and social skills to kids so they learn the best ways of behaving and relating to others in all areas of their lives. We’ve covered communicating, personal manners, and making a great first impression. In my last blog the topics were family, friends, and how rude behaviors impact relationships. Now let’s look at school, sports, and all the other places that kids go every day. As our award-winning song clearly states, “Manners Matter Everywhere.”

School Atmosphere

Research shows that approximately 160,000 kids stay home from school every day for fear of being bullied. That is to say, we need to create a comfortable and safe school environment for our children; a place that kids want to go to every day.  When I’ve asked kids what makes their school have a safe, comfortable atmosphere, they have responded with things such as being polite or courteous, accepting or tolerant of kids who are different from them, and being respectful. In addition, they want their school to be friendly, pleasant, welcoming, and most importantly, free from bullying.

To make a school atmosphere safe and comfortable we need to learn to show good manners and respect to both the people in the school, as well as all the different places within a school campus. Moreover, we need to respect or value the efforts of the teachers, staff, and fellow students who make school a good place to learn. Additionally, we need to respect the places, buildings, and equipment in a school as though they were our own. Just as in families, in communicating, and other places we’ve covered, living the Golden Rule can have a positive impact on a school’s atmosphere.

Manners and Social Skills Matter in the Classroom

Most kids go to school to get an education so they can be successful and happy in life.  A few kids who come to school to play, have fun, and generally disrupt the classroom, not only don’t learn, but often encounter disapproval from their teachers and other students. They don’t understand the damage they are doing to themselves and others.

Those students who want to learn remember that the teacher is in charge. Above all, they know that they are there to learn. They are grateful for the opportunity to learn, and respect others’ opinions and answers. These students are kind, caring, and show empathy, especially when a fellow student makes a mistake. And, they come to class prepared; doing their work to the best of their ability. Further, they pay attention, listen carefully, and participate in class. If they don’t understand something they ask for help. In addition, they know that rude behaviors have no place in their classroom. In short, they realize that they earn their grade, it’s not a gift; what they get depends on their efforts.

Manners Outside the Classroom

Manners and social skills matter everywhere in a school, even in areas outside the classroom. The locker room is a place where many kids are teased or picked on unmercifully for their bodies or athletic abilities. Respecting the people and the property in the locker room will help everyone get along there. The cafeteria is now a place where many kids who are lacking in good table manners are teased, ridiculed, or excluded. Kids deserve to eat in peace, in a clean, safe environment. Cool Kind Kid spends a lot of time focusing on teaching kids dining skills to eliminate this stress.

On the playground, again respect for people and property guarantee that everyone will be safe and have a good time. Things such as “After You,” allowing someone to go first, and playing fair contribute to everyone getting along. On the school bus, the drivers are in charge; obey them and treat them respectfully. Much bus bullying can be eliminated if kids respect the others traveling with them, or waiting at the bus stop, by avoiding rude, unkind behaviors such as teasing, excluding, hitting, tripping, taking someone’s stuff, or picking on someone.

Manners and Social Skills Matter in Sports

Manners and social skills matter everywhere, especially in sports. Sports are for fun, but sadly, too often they present a challenging, difficult time for some kids. Rude behaviors seem to be the norm in sports today. We see them in the pros, college and high school events, down to those for the youngest kids. It makes sense to establish some rules for kids, and adults, to get along on the both the playing field and in the stands.

Good Manners Rules for Players

To get the most out of our sports experiences we need to be committed to the sport; learning the rules, practicing to be your best, and listening to coaches and officials. We need to be supportive of our team members or partner. Show respect to coaches and players by being on time, not complaining, and playing fairly. Good sports manners include winning and losing graciously, with no bragging or boasting. Most importantly, be a team player, who demonstrates good sportsmanship.

Good Manners Rules for Spectators

Too many kids have been embarrassed by screaming, negative parents at a game that was supposed to be fun. We need to show respect to the coaches, officials, players, opposing team, and other spectators when watching a game. Other good manners rules include arriving on time, and respecting the property, grounds, and equipment. Don’t block someone’s ability to see the game. Cheer for your team without insulting officials or booing players. Be gracious toward the opposition, whether they win or lose. Implement the Golden Rule.

School Rules, Track 14, Cool KInd Kid Award-Winning CD

Manners and Social Skills Matter in Public Places

Manners and social skills matter everywhere we go outside our homes. From our neighborhoods and communities to all the public places we go every day, manners are key to having positive encounters with all types of people. Here’s another question I often ask kids, “Where do manners NOT matter?” At first they look confused, but then realize that ‘alone in their own rooms’ is the correct answer.

My Neighborhood

We all live in a neighborhood, even if our closest neighbor is several miles away. Our neighbors might be just like us, or very different. It’s important to be tolerant, accepting, and respectful of all neighbors so all can line in peace and harmony. Some tips for getting along with neighbors include greeting them when you see them, being considerate of time and noise, treating their property with respect, and  certainly, being helpful where you can.

My Community

A community is a wider area than a neighborhood, and can include many neighborhoods. Each person living is a community can show good manners by being aware of the community’s needs and responding to them. People in a community share many things, such as places, resources, and services. Places might include parks, sports fields, hospitals, theatres, shops and schools. In addition, resources can include clean air and electric power. Services can include trash removal, roads, gas stations, military and police protection. To sum up, for everyone to get along in a community the citizens must practice the Golden Rule and show acceptance and respect to all

Places we Visit

Public places manners include a general rule of behavior for most areas we would be going. These include no running, pushing, shoving, or yelling; no teasing, or trying to get others in trouble; and certainly, no fighting or complaining. These apply when going to a movie or live performance, in a museum or gallery, at the mall and in stores, or in houses of worship. They also apply when taking a trip on a plane, train, or in a car. Additionally they apply in professional offices, libraries, elevators and escalators.

Each of these public places also has its own set of rules for interacting with strangers and people you may know in a polite and kindly manner. That is a topic for another post. For now, we need to understand that manners and social skills matter everywhere we go. Listen to this fun song and all the places it says that we need manners.  It’s a good reminder for kids as well as adults.

Manners Matter Everywhere, Track 15, Cool Kind Kid Award-Winning CD

Cool Kind Kid Award-Winning CD Song Clips – Free Sample Clips

© Barbara Gilmour

Leave a Reply