I’m always so excited and impressed when I see well mannered kids. Good manners are essential for every child’s self confidence and success in life. No parent likes the embarrassment of a rude child and the disapproving glances of other parents.
Take the time to teach and use the following manners in your home and raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child.
Please, thank you, excuse me, pardon. You know, the works – everything your child needs to get through life as pleasant human beings. These basic acts of courtesy acknowledge the existence of traits such as humility, appreciation and gratitude. They generally make your child a much more pleasant person to be around.
Imagine how disturbing it can be when you’re trying to have a conversation with a friend or family member and their child keeps interrupting to have his needs met or simply to draw attention to himself. Interruptions should not be tolerated unless it is a matter of emergency. Parents should draw clear boundaries on what constitutes an emergency vs. rudely interrupting a conversation.
It is important for your kids to learn to share at an early age; it is from this that they learn not to be selfish adults. This is a difficult thing for toddlers to learn, so be patient but persistent. It also helps to allow a child to have one thing they don’t have to share with anyone (that special teddy bear or toy, for instance).
Give your child opportunities to socialize with other children in situations where taking turns will naturally occur. At home, require your children to take turns selecting what games to play, choosing what movie to watch, where to go for ice cream, etc.
Have you ever felt the irritation of an obnoxiously loud person? The person walks into a corporate environment shouting and screaming at the top of his/her voice, sometimes on the phone!!! Children need to learn at an early age that there is a time to speak softly – even whisper-rather than shout it out for the masses to hear. Speaking softly and quietly rather than yelling in your home will make this happen a bit more naturally and they’ll grow with it.
Teach your kids that they can’t always touch everything they see. Some things are delicate and are off limits to them. Ensure they understand the boundaries of looking but not touching. It’ll be tough if you try to enforce this only when you’re out with them, have things like these in your home that are off limits.
Good sportsmanship is when teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials treat each other with respect. Teaching our kids good sportsmanship will be a quality that stays with them to adulthood and it’s something all kids should learn. If your child puts up a fight when he/she is not in first place, then you have work to do.
Teaching your child consent should start from very young. This will help building a foundation that will likely still be standing when they become teenagers. FYI: this is a good thing. Asking permission acknowledges authority and respect for that authority.
Teach your children to honor others by giving sincere compliments to friends, family members and authority figures. While it may be cute to hear a 3 year old say ‘I know’ when she is told how pretty she is, it’s not so cute when she’s 6 or 7. Teaching your child to be humble and gracious when receiving a compliment is not only polite, but deters attitudes of entitlement and superiority during adolescence and adulthood.
It is important that your child understands the importance of personal hygiene – things such as covering their mouths when they cough and sneeze, using a tissue to wipe their noses or mouths and washing their hands after they use the toilet are of utmost importance. Not only is it dirty, it also creates a breeding ground for diseases and sickness. Teach them these lessons as early as possible.
Children should be thought the importance of compassion and empathy towards anyone who is seemingly different from them – this includes everything from someone from a less privileged background to a person faced with a disability. Children often learn from example – take this opportunity to be more mindful of how you treat other people!
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