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Teaching Children Good Manners

Teaching children good manners is one of the most essential things parents can do. Having good manners will benefit children throughout their lives. Here are some simple steps on how parents can teach their children good manners.

Be A Role Model

This is the most important and effective tip any child expert and parent can give in teaching children good manners. If you want your toddler to model manners, you must lead by example. Remember, toddlers love imitating their parents. Say “Please.” and “Thank you.” when you ask someone to do something. If your toddler gets accustomed to hearing polite speech around the house, that is the kind of speech he will use himself.

Start With The Basics

Teaching children good manners is a process, so take it slow. Start with the basics – “Hello.”, “Please.”, “Thank you.”, “You are welcome.” and “Excuse me.”. You  can also teach your toddler to sign to articulate these words. For instance, when you say “Please.”, stroke your upper chest in circles using a flat hand at the same time. Ask your toddler to follow you. Gradually introduce more as your little one’s skills and comprehension develop.

Role Play

Practice good manners at home by role playing them. For example, show your toddler how to be respectful when answering the telephone. Pretend his stuffed animals are grandma and grandpa and they are visiting your home. Show him how to say “Hi grandma.”, “Goodbye grandpa.” and to shake hands. Or, pretend the two of you are in the grocery and someone is standing in front of the aisle. Have your toddler practice saying “Excuse me.”. With practice, your toddler will develop the confidence to deal with any situation that calls for good manners.

Make It Fun

To make teaching children good manners more enjoyable, why not turn it into a game. Play games such as Simon Says and Manners Detective. Play sports with your family or with other children his age. This will teach him the value of respect and sportsmanship as well as how to be a good team member.

Eat Dinner As A Family

Family dinners are a perfect time to practice table manners. This is the best way to show to your little one how to use utensils, chew food correctly, not to talk when his mouth is full, make conversation, say “Excuse me.” when he is full or is done eating and to bring his own plate in the kitchen sink. Teach your toddler to compliment the cook and the food and how to politely decline the food being offered if he does not like it.

Do Not Ignore Bad Behaviour

Do not ignore your toddler’s bad behaviour. Correct him on the spot without embarrassing your toddler. For instance, if he disrupts your conversation with your friend, beg your friend’s pardon and let your toddler know that it is not nice to interrupt.

Discuss It

Once you are alone with your little one, bring up the behaviour again so you can talk about it in detail and make sure your toddler understands how to behave the next time. But, do not punish your toddler. Communication is more effective in teaching children good manners than any form of punishment.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

Most importantly, provide plenty of positive feedback each time your toddler displays good manners. Children love praise especially when it comes from parents. Let your toddler know that he did a good job helping you carry the groceries or for courteously asking his friend that it is his turn to use the bicycle. Do not forget to give him a hug and a kiss as well. A little reward such as stickers, a bar of chocolate for snacks or cooking his favorite food for lunch also helps.

Teaching children good manners is a trial and error process. One minute your toddler will be very polite and then be very bossy the next. Just be patient and determined, your toddler will understand how to be well-mannered in time.

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