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How To Teach Manners
As a parent, there are many values that you want to teach your children. Manners, without a doubt, is one of the most important. It’s not always easy to teach manners though, and this article is designed to help guide you!
First, map out what’s important to you when you teach manners. Prioritize what you want your child to learn first because there are many aspects to teach, and of course it takes time. If please and thank you is the most important to you, you’ll want to begin to focus on that first. If cleaning up after themselves is more important, you’ll need to work in that area first. So really, just making a list, whether it’s in your head or on paper, is the first step to teach manners to your child.
Please and thank you is one of the most common of the first manners to be taught. In this area, repetition is key. It takes a lot of repetition for adults to learn and remember something, and even more so for toddlers and young children. Leading by example is the best way to teach manners, so you’ll want to use please and thank you as much as you can in front of your child. Proper usage is also key. Make sure you’re using it in times when you theoretically want your child to use it. For example, after someone gives you something, make sure to emphasize “thank you”, so your child can correlate receiving favors with giving thanks. Additionally, if you ask your child to do something, put emphasis on the “please” that you preface with. Discuss please and thank you mannerisms with them when you begin to teach manners so that it’s fresh in their mind and they know what to focus on!
Cleaning and chores might not always be grouped in with how to teach manners, but cleaning up after yourself is a huge part of manners. Assigning chores is a great way to get kids involved in cleaning and learning how to clean up after themselves. Some kids may be too young to fully grasp this, so look at it on a smaller scale. Although throwing away a diaper isn’t a huge “chore”, it is to a young child, so maybe think about incorporating that as a chore. For other kids, something like setting the table or sweeping is simple enough to make a point and teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves!
Patience is something that gets overlooked quite often, but is still very important to emphasize when you teach manners. Kids tend to think that what they have to say is extremely important and usually try to get your attention with urgency, no matter what it may be. Teaching them that if it can wait, letting the adults finish talking is a great way to teach patience. It helps avoid interruptions for unnecessary things. Make sure that your child knows that patience is great, but if it truly is an emergency, interrupting is okay.
Overall, the choice to teach manners at a young age is a great one, as it will carry through to adulthood and ultimately make for a great child!