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A child needs social manners because he doesn't live alone. His society will expand from home to school, church and later wider social circles. Learning social manners forms his social conscience and makes him a better person for himself, his family, friends and society.

Social manners are the rules of behavior towards others and their property. Good social values help the child to adjust to his environment and to live a balanced life. For example, we must respect other's property and not steal or vandalize it. This helps us from wrong-doing and getting punished by the law.

How do we teach social manners? The best way is to set a good example for our kids to follow. If we don't practice what we preach, children get confused or say we are hypocrites.

Another way of teaching manners and values indirectly is through story-telling and role-playing. Choose books that have social manners in their stories. Children will learn the consequences of wrong-doing this way, too.

Encourage children to come to you to discuss any particular event which puzzles them. It may be something that happened which was contradictory to his perceptions of right values. Encourage him to follow the right way. It takes good habits to keep good social values. These values comprise the laws of society.

Reinforce teaching of social manners by giving the child positive incentives like praise and recognition for his good behaviors. It will become a part of him when he outgrows the praise stage.

Social manners of thoughtfulness, courage, honesty, loyalty and respect for others will benefit both child and society. Every parent wants that for their child.