For a parent, it never is too early to start educating a daughter on proper etiquette and manners, whether she is 4 or 14 years old. Things that are instilled in us from a very early age are likely to become lifelong habits. If you want to educate your daughter on how to be a proper young lady who acts with grace, poise, elegance and consideration for others, there are several things that you can do.
Teach your daughter the value of proper grooming. To be a proper lady, it is important to take care of your outer appearance and the impression you make on other people. Teach her to shower every day and always to wear clothing that is clean, fresh and wrinkle-free. Make sure your daughter is aware of the concept of modesty and not revealing too much in terms of skin. In terms of cosmetics, less is more. A dab of concealer under the eyes and over skin imperfections, as well as a coat of mascara on the eyelashes, should suffice in most cases.
Inform your daughter about handshaking etiquette. Handshaking is an important element of etiquette. After all, a handshake is the moment of the first impression, which is key. Show your daughter that, in introductory situations with men, it is the lady's responsibility to extend her hand for the handshake.
Teach your daughter proper table manners. Table manners are paramount when it comes to behaving like a proper lady. Teach her that when she needs to leave the table for any reason (such as having to go to the restroom), all she needs to do is say "Excuse me." Details are not necessary. Teach your daughter not to chew food while talking. Instill in her the concept of never freshening her makeup at the table. Makeup applications always should be done in privacy -- in the restroom.
Educate your daughter on how to show gratitude. When it comes to behaving like a true, proper lady, graciousness is one of the most telling elements. When someone does something for a lady, whether it is holding the door for her or presenting her with a gift, she should make her thankfulness known, whether it is by saying "I really appreciate this" or a simple "Thank you very much." To be ladylike, it is helpful to use these types of phrases liberally.
Tell your daughter to smile a lot. Smiling is an easy way to make people feel kindly toward you. If you smile at someone else, it also makes him feel good. To give off a positive aura, smile often at other people. Engage in direct eye contact and smile in a manner that is authentic, genuine and sincere.
Speak to your daughter about respecting other people's privacy. A true lady never pries or asks inappropriate (and potentially embarrassing) questions of other people. Tell your daughter to abstain from asking personal questions regarding topics such as weight, age and finances.
Teach your daughter to be a good listener. To act with grace and poise, good active listening skills are necessary. Proper ladies never interrupt other people amidst conversations. It is vital for ladies to listen much more than they talk.
Promote timeliness. It is never ladylike or polite to be late for an engagement, even if it is by only two minutes. If an emergency exists and a lady has to be late, she needs to call and inform the waiting parties. Being late is disrespectful and conveys the message that you do not respect other people's' time.
When teaching your daughter about manners and being a lady, stress the importance of maintaining a demeanor that is always composed and cool, no matter what the situation is. A lady should avoid raising her voice and appearing out of control, especially when in public.