Politeness is an essential characteristic in everyone. It is important that parents help children learn politeness early in life. Usually, preschool and kindergarten years (2 1/2 to 6) are the best time to teach a child about good manners. While there are many good manners, here is a list that an Indian child should start with.
Please and Thank you
When requesting something or when asking for help, say please.
When you get some thing or when someone helps you, say thanks. Using these magic words, will make life a whole lot easier.
Also teach them to say "No thank you" when they do not want something.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes can affect someone else. Like bumping into someone or running into someone. Say sorry, because it matters and it shows you care.
Whether with siblings or friends, sharing toys and books and everything else is essential. It also creates good bonds between the two sharing children. Inherent in sharing, is the notion of taking turns at something. This helps children moderate their self-focus and helps them build good friendships.
Covering their mouths when they cough
Children often colds and coughs. While sharing is a good thing, sharing the germs from a cold or cough is not. Teach children to cover their mouths when they cough.
Speaking only when the mouth is empty
While there are many table manners that children will need to learn, there are some essential ones. The first is to speak only after they have swallowed the mouthful. Ask them to wait till their mouths are empty before they speak.
Chew with their mouths closed
This is another essential table manner. Educate children to chew with their mouths closed.
Throw trash or garbage in a trash can
Children often eat fruits like bananas which has a skin or candy which has wrappers. It is important that they learn to dispose these off in the appropriate place rather than leaving them lying around.
Address elders appropriately
Children must be taught to address older people with respect. This can be easily accomplished by teaching them salutations like uncle or aunty or dadaji or paati etc.,
Speak without interrupting
Children instiinctively want to talk and say their piece regardless of who is talking. Often they will interrupt the conversation of adults. Teach them that what they have to say is important and will be listened to more attentively if they did not interrupt what someone else is saying.
Ask for permission
Teach children not to take other people's things or to do something that is not part of their routine, without permission. This will particularly serve them well when they are in the homes of friends.
It takes a lot of effort from parents, to teach a child good manners. As always, if you exhibit these good manners, your child will automatically learn from you. However, do not expect them to exhibit these good manners as soon as you tell them once. It is a long process and the effort that Indian parents put in now, will payoff in the long term for the child.