Here are some easy ways to engage your child in learning good manners.
Please is a very important word in a child’s vocabulary. It shows respect, patience, and compassion. Too often they pass up that one word for the quick action of taking. But here is how to help them grow. Next time your little one wants something, have a please-fest. See who can say “please” the most and fastest. That will make her/him laugh up a storm while the repetition forms a neural pathway between “wanting” and saying “please”. The more often you do it, the more often they will say it first and as they age it will become less of a competition and more of a ritual that leaves a warm fuzzy memory.
While they’re young, it might seem cute, but it’s good for children to learn that there are rules in conversation. Now, this one can be tricky to teach. The need to interrupt generally stems from the feeling of being ignored. Try this. Have your child come up and touch your arm when they want to speak to you. Put your hand over theirs to acknowledge that you see them there and will speak to them in a moment. This physical signal is a good way for parents to tell children that they will get their turn to speak.
By this, I simply mean keeping opinions that would be considered rude to yourself. Now this one can be tricky since young kids don’t have any idea what is socially acceptable. If your young toddler does say something you consider “inappropriate” the best thing to do is to smile it off and gently explain afterwards why it was rude. Teaching older kids to use their filter can be quite fun. Make flashcards with good terms and bad terms and make masks with silly faces and somber faces. Read the flash card and tell them to lift the appropriate mask. It is a great way to develop word association. Plus, what’s better than a game night?
Thank you is pretty easy. Children pick it up quickly. Be sure to reward children for remembering to use it and it’ll stick. This can be done with sticker charts, occasional treats, or even just words of praise!
Practice What You Preach
By far the best way to teach good manners is to practice what you preach in an upbeat manner. Make sure say please and thank you because parents are the ones who sculpt the children, and the best way to raise a mindful child is to be a mindful adult. Good luck!
About Fiona Longmuir
Fiona Longmuir is a Marketing Manager at Stork Up, which is a new online store for parents to discover products from over 250 parenting websites. StorkUp was created to help moms navigate the world of kids’ products. It’s a unique shopping experience where our growing community of moms can discover, collect and buy from an entirely crowd-sourced catalogue of fabulous products and stores all in one location.
How old was your child when you started teaching them how to use their manners?