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Manners still top concern for parents

Mums and dads still believe manners are the most important life skill children must learn, according to research


The top lessons taught to children by parents has revealed that remembering to say please and thank you comes top of a revent survey, with 80 per cent of the vote.

Respecting your elders came second with 75 per cent of the vote, and having good table manners got 73 per cent.

Telling the truth (72 per cent), not talking to strangers (69 per cent) and brushing teeth properly twice a day (67 per cent) also made the top 10.

Practical skills made the final list of 59 tips too.

These include teaching your child to swim, how to tie a shoelace, eating your greens and being able to bake a cake.

Treating others with kindness and to appreciate wildlife and animals also ranked highly.

Life skills such as how to negotiate, avoiding unnecessary dramas and offering a firm handshake also made the list.

A spokesman for Chessington World of Adventures Resort, which commissioned the study of 2,000 parents, said: “As so many parents prepare to send their little adventurers off to school, possibly for the first time in a few weeks, we wanted to discover what life lessons truly count.

“We’re delighted to see being kind and courteous topped the poll.” 

The research also found more than three quarters of parents are focused on bringing up their youngsters to be “good people”.

And almost one in three said they felt pressure from other’s parents status updates on social media about the progress of their children.

Psychologist Donna Dawson who was involved in the study, said: “It is interesting that the top three things on the parental teaching list are all to do with ‘behaviour’, and how the child ‘appears’ to others. 

“Parents are clearly worried that their children will reflect badly on them. And this is just part of the anxiety that parents feel generally. 

“We can afford to relax a bit more, as many of the “must do’s” on the list are not under their full control, and the burden of teaching is not solely on them. 

“It is the little everyday interactions with our children that are the real teachers: what we do, is even more important than what we say. 

“However, rather than becoming unduly anxious about it all, parents should take each day as it comes, and remember that they are only human.” 

The study also found while 24 per cent believe it’s down to the mum to teach life skills, 71 per cent believe it should be shared jointly between parents.

And just over half think teachers should also be instrumental in coaching life skills.

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