Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaching Proper Manners to Your Child

I have a real thing about manners, not only in my home but also when I'm teaching. I am often surprised at the lack of manners that many children display, or more often that their parents don't see as significant in their child's development. Teaching your children manners is very important. For children to be successful in life, they need to have social skills as well as academic skills. And if you help young children learn polite and caring behaviour, they will continue to use good manners and become more socially aware as they get older.Here are some steps that will help you in teaching your child proper manners:

The Very Beginning
Teaching children to behave properly starts from the very first moment they start to talk. Start with the basics such as teaching them to say thank you and please. Always remember children follow what their parents do so whenever the child hands you something say thank you and if you want them to stop doing something such as shouting say please yourself as well. Similarly, your child will follow your example and do the same.

Consistency and Repetition
Reminding them constantly of manners is an important step in their learning. If they ask for something, ask them to say please first. If you give them something and they forget to say thank you, remind them to say thank you. Always do this politely.

Set an example
Parents are role model for children. If you do something, your child will follow you exactly so always show proper manners yourself such as when you sneeze say excuse me or when you yawn remember to cover your mouth.

Phone manners
Teaching your child phone manners is very important as well. Teach them to be polite while on the phone for example, 'Dad is unavailable at the moment. May I take any messages?' Soon you will notice business associates, friends and relatives complimenting you on your child's proper manners.

Eye contact
Teach the kid to make eye contact when speaking up and speak clearly. Mumbling and looking here and there is not the appropriate way. Also, being rude or misbehaving with an adult is also improper and the behavior should be punished.

Teach your children, as soon as they are old enough to understand, to greet people by name. Learning early on to look someone in the eye and say “Hello Mr. Kelly”—instead of “Hi” mumbled at the ground—is a valuable lesson for the future.

Table Manners
Table manners for children should be the same as they are for adults, with one exception: young children should be permitted to be excused from the table, if the meal is an extended one. Expecting a young child to sit quietly through a protracted meal when his food is gone is an unreasonable demand on his patience and ability to sit still without wiggling, fiddling, and noise making to help pass the time.

Teach your children not to interrupt. This is part of learning to respect other people's rights. It is up to you to teach your child to wait for a break in the conversation to speak. The mother who invariably stops and says, “What is it, dear?” when her daughter interrupts is helping her to establish a habit that will do her a disservice all her life.

Fair Play
Fair play among children is really just good sportsmanship and respect for others. It includes the practice of kindness, taking turns and sharing. One of the best ways to teach fair play is by example. Parents who take turns, treat their children with kindness and share with others will be teaching their children fair play, just by their actions.

Shaking Hands
Teaching your child to shake hands is a good way to get them used to greeting people appropriately. Practice with them. Show your child how to shake hands and exchange greetings by looking you in the eye and greeting you by name.

Out and About
Children need to learn that good manners are used everywhere, not just at their grandparents. Table manners, please and thank you, polite greetings, and respectful conversation are called for at home, at friends' homes, in restaurants, at school, and even in the mall. If children learn to make good manners a habit at home, they will use them everywhere.

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