Have you ever had the horrific experience of catching yaya drinking from a water pitcher or picking her nose or burping in public after a meal? Chances are the answer is yes. How does one handle such predicaments? Here are some suggestions.
To begin with, we must first make the distinction between “manners” and “hygiene”. The former refers to a set of generally accepted modes of conduct that are determined by a community or culture. The latter refers to cleanliness and has a direct repercussion on general health. However, both are of great importance in every household.
Before teaching yaya about “good manners and right conduct”, it is first crucial for you stress that she is a genuine “representative” of your household --- everything she does mirrors what other people may think of your entire family. Hence, in many cases, first impressions do matter and she should conduct herself to the best of her abilities.
Similarly, when teaching yaya about manners --- in as much as good manners should be applied in every situation, many times everything usually begins at the table and mealtime.
Here are some general tips: 1. Although considered polite in some cultures, burping out loud and in public is not considered polite. 2. Elbows should remain off the table at all times. 3. Use your napkin and not your sleeve when wiping your mouth. 4. Modulate your voice and do not be too loud when carrying on a conversation. 5. Use the utensils provided and not your hands. 6. Always use “please”, “thank you”, “excuse me” as well as the common Filipino term for respect – “po”. 7. Try to get only what you can finish especially when meal is served “buffet style” --- do not “pile up” your plate needlessly 8. Always be very sensitive to other people’s needs and preferences. 9. Learn to be observant so as not to offend anyone’s sensibilities. 10. Do not slurp your soup nor make sounds while eating.
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Click here to read more about reminders for yaya on general cleanliness.