I learned that many cold-climate cultures are task driven while warm-culture climates are more relationship-driven. In cold-climate cultures it can be offensive to turn up to dinner with others late because it seems as though you are not respecting their time, while in other cultures it can be offensive to turn up exactly on time because it seems as though you are only there for the dinner and not the relationship. In some cultures you show respect for someone by looking at them in the eyes, and in others you show respect by diverting your eyes and not looking directly at the speaker.
I found this learning fascinating, and it dawned on me that while they are an entirely cultural right and wrong, manners are expressions of love and respect for another.
At Horizon School this week we will be explicitly teaching the children schoolwide about manners.
Here is a list of things we are expecting our our children at school and it would be great if you can reinforce this at home through daily habits of relating.
We expect the children to
- say "Good morning" and smile to guests and adults if passing and appropriate
- say "Excuse me", "Please", "Thank you" to each other, to teachers, to the bus driver, to adults
- take turns in conversation and listen when others are talking
- generally speak in a calm, quiet voice inside
- in the junior classes, when getting attention, quietly put their hand on the arm of a teacher who is busy talking to someone else so she knows they are there and then wait patiently
- in the senior classes, stand beside a teacher who is talking to someone else and wait patiently
- walk calmly around the school
- wear their uniform well as a way of showing respect for theselves and for the school
- think of ways to actively notice how they can help others, express appreciation
If we are to live Loving Lives, it is these small habits done over and over that will provide a stable, positive, loving environment both in our school, and in each child. If your child is demonstrating good manners and habits, it will translate into a sense of self-management, self-respect and general wellbeing.
Thanks for helping us with this!