Are you finding it difficult to teach manners to your young one?
Well, this is again one of the major responsibilities that every parent like you faces.
Teaching manners is all about creating sensitivity about others feelings when present in a gathering or a get to gather.
Though, kids generally grow up to learn things on their own but for the primary formative years, a lot of efforts need to be put in to season them socially.
And, as is rightly said,
“Good manners bring you respect, appreciation and reciprocation of what goes out”.
Hence, it is absolutely essential to fulfill this responsibility of teaching manners to your child.
As is said, “Home is the first school”; you need to start teaching manners right from the beginning.
In this post, you would find some really helpful tips of how to go about teaching good manners to your child.
By the age of 5, your child should have these manners.
- Say please if he wants something.
- Say thank you if he receives something.
- Don’t use foul language and bad words.
- Say excuse me if he burps.
- Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing.
- Say hi /Greet when you meet someone.
- Don’t call others bad names.
- Do not make fun or point at others.
- If he bumps into someone, he should say sorry or excuse me.
- Do not pick nose in public.
- Throw waste in the trash can, not on the road or on the floor.
- Wash hands before eating.
If your child doesn’t have these basic manners by the time he turns 5, it’s time to teach.
Teach Your Child – Good manners for kids
These small tips are not just bringing in changes to your kid’s behavior but also a life style modification for you and your family.
1. Magic Words
Make sure you teach your child not only the two ‘magic words’ i.e. please and thank you, but also:
“May I please..” when requesting for something,
“Excuse me..” if interrupting and
“I’m sorry..” when he/she does or says something bad.
All these phrases are important for the child to know and use.
2. Set Boundaries
Children tend to test the boundaries as to what they can or cannot get away with.
Make sure you set boundaries to your standards.
When your child is throwing a tantrum and will not listen, let him finish and then firmly (without raising your voice) tell him how he/she should have handled the situation instead(“You should have asked nicely and said please. Next time, ask me nicely and then I will do it.”)
Make sure your child knows that manners are very important in your household.
3. Set Situations – Phone Etiquette
To help teach children in a fun way how to talk in different situations, (when greeting guests, when at a restaurant, when answering the phone etc.) you can role play with them.
Children love to play pretend and you can join them and teach them how to for example, say “May I know who is speaking?” when she/he answers the phone.
One of the worst habits children have is to interrupt two adults when they are talking.
A child needs to know that he cannot always be tended to first so if he/she does interrupt your conversation then tell him that you are having a conversation and to wait until you are finished.
If he continues to interrupt you even after informing him then ignore him until you finish your conversation so that you can send him the message that you will not respond to bad manners.
After your conversation is done then devote your entire attention to his needs.
However make sure that you do not prolong your conversation.
Children cannot sit still for more than 5 minutes and it is disrespectful to your child to ignore him/her for longer than that.
5. Treat people the way he wants to be treated
Try to make your child understand that he should treat people the way he wants to be treated. If he is being rude to his friend or to you then remind him that he does not like it when people talk to him like that so he should not talk to others like that either because they won’t like it too.
6. Positive Reinforcement
When your child is behaving well, i.e. sharing or saying please or thank you, ensure that you tell him what a good boy/girl he is being and praise him for his/her good behaviour. Children love to be praised and this kind of positive reinforcement will work well to teach children manners.
If your child behaves himself with people around then make sure his or her behavior is well applauded.
Kids love appreciation. They love to be acknowledged for their good deeds.
Say if he says ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’ for his behavior then you need to tell him or her that what he or she did was just wonderful and that is how it should be.
7. Positive Parenting
If your child is sensitive or shy then admonishing him/her for bad behaviour in public might be counter-productive. Take him aside and tell him what he did wrong (learn more about Positive Parenting).
8. Be specific, not vague
When teaching your child about manners or sharing avoid being vague (“be nice”, “always be kind”) as children would not know how to apply those vague directions in real life situations.
Instead tell him/her what he/she can do to be kind or nice.
For example “Be kind by sharing your toy even if you want to play with it” or “Be nice to your new friends by smiling and saying hello and asking them if they want to play with you”.
These kinds of instructions would be more helpful in teaching your child good manners.
9. Behave politely
Behaving politely should show in your behavior as a parent. Your child should get the real demonstration of what he is taught or expected to do.
Kids learn the most from their parents and immediate family members. You need to ensure to bring in a culture of good mannerism in the family itself.
What the child sees you doing is what he or she learns to do. It is as simple as that.
10. Practice, Practice, Practice
Manners could never be taught in just one day or overnight. You need to keep teaching or reinforcing it in your child every now and then.
Make sure you correct the wrong behavior of your child then and there.
He or she should be made to realize the importance of behaving well.
11. Give him examples
You could pick up a video or a movie or a story book to draw inspiration of learning good manners for your child.
A subtle mentioning of your kid’s friends who are good at behaving themselves will also help (Don’t compare always though).
But, make sure you do not prominently draw comparisons with your child’s friends as it may develop jealousy which is a highly negative emotion.
12. Your behavior matters
What you are is what your child will learn and grow up to be. So, make sure you work on every aspect of your own mannerisms first.
You and your immediate family members should practice good mannerisms as a part of life and this is perhaps the best way of teaching your child to behave well.
The most obvious, yet most important way is to model good behaviour yourself. Most children tend to emulate their parents actions and words so ensure that you are not only polite to your child but also to everyone around you as well. Your child will pick up on any catty remarks or rude words that you say even if it is not being directed at the child.
13. Condition a child before taking him out
Just spend a few minutes of briefing a child about good mannerisms before you take him out to any of the social gatherings.
A small briefing brings in the awareness in the child of what he is expected to do. He may still not do it but at least that seed of good behavior has been sown by you.
14. Read, Read, Read
You may not believe it, but reading actually helps develop good manners in your child.
The subtle things in a story book that you may miss, your child will pick up.
“Martha wanted to ask her mom something. So she said, “Excuse me mom, can I ask you something?”
It may seem normal to you, but your child will pick up the politeness.
15. Don’t Force
Lastly, don’t force your child to have good manners always.
He cannot be perfect.
Let him take his time to learn.
These are some of the basic tips to help you groom your child the way you want to. Children are quick learners and equally good observers too. So, we as parents need to check the behavioral traits at our end first and then the rest is all a cake walk with little inputs here and there.
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