Teaching kids good manners, key to happy successful life

August 5th, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 5 (IANS) Parents believe teaching children good manners and basic social skills ensures that they grow up happy, well-adjusted and successful, according to a survey. The survey of a thousand parents, conducted by Mom Central, Inc. on behalf of Hasbro, revealed parents’ perspectives on the importance of social skills in their children’s lives, the current methods of teaching them and their impact on children’s future happiness.

“Parents have come to recognize social skills, more than mere niceties for everyday life, are the base for raising ‘great kids’ who ultimately become successful, confident and happy adults,” said Stacy DeBroff, CEO of Mom Central.

“These skills, which include listening, being polite and knowing how to share, shape how a child will be perceived by their peers, teachers, adults, and ultimately employers.”

According to the survey, 90 percent of parents consider social skills vital to their children’s happiness and confidence. A full 98 percent deem it important for their child to be able to share, listen well and have good manners - and nearly eight out of 10 parents rate these social skills more important than academic skills when it comes to their child’s overall happiness.

“More than ever, our children must get along with others to function effectively,” said DeBroff. “In this age of team sports and structured play, it has never been more critical for our children to master socialization skills.”

From children’s play groups to collaboration in the classroom, kids today engage in significantly more structured group activities, raising the profile and the necessity for good social skills.”

Despite the overwhelming significance they place on social skills, the parents find it a constant struggle to teach their kids proper manners and necessary socialisation techniques.

Although the vast majority of them consider listening a critical skill, only 10 percent consider their children excellent listeners. Yet, when it comes to basic academic skills, 52 percent view their children’s skills as excellent.

“As pre-schools and kindergartens turn to an increasingly academic curriculum, the necessity is that children come into the classroom with basic social skills in place,” said DeBroff.

“Additionally, there are many resources for assistance in teaching academic skills; however the tools and help for teaching social skills are very limited. It is really up to the parents to figure it out.”

As a result, many parents feel overwhelmed with teaching social skills and more than one-third say that teaching social skills often leads to frustration.

Parents attribute this frustration to today’s technology, over-scheduling and emphasis on personal achievement, all of which foster an unreceptive environment difficult for both teaching and learning social skills.

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