As parents, we are always striving to make sure our children grow up to be respectful and responsible members of society. One way we can do that is by teaching them good manners right from the start. However, it's not an easy job - especially when you're dealing with a 5-year-old who would rather run around the house like a wild animal than sit still for five seconds.
Don't fret! With some patience and persistence, you can instill proper etiquette in your child that will stick with them for years to come. Here are some tips and tricks on how to get started:
Lead by example
Children learn best by observing their parents' behavior. Therefore, it's important that you practice what you preach on a daily basis. Whether it's saying "please" and "thank you" or holding doors open for strangers, let your child see firsthand how good manners should look like.
Trying to teach all of the rules of etiquette at once may overwhelm both you and your child. Instead, break things down into bite-sized pieces so that they seem more manageable.
For instance, focus on having good table manners during mealtime first before moving onto other areas such as greeting guests or classroom etiquette.
Table manners are key, but try not to take it too seriously (or it might drive everybody crazy). Introducing simple habits like no elbows on the table or chewing with mouth closed while eating could go along way apart from helping avoid being mistaken for cows while eating!
To help reinforce this habit have each family member say out another common phrase starting with 'C' such as "Cookies come after dinner", "Cleanliness is next Godliness"
Remember praises comes in handy here; whenever they remember/ abide use words phrases such as Bravo!, Wonderful effort!!, fabulous!! etc.
Use polite language
We might want to new sound 'cool' around our kids and all but using good language would prove useful improving theirs.
Colloquial words, street slang should be avoided at times- try modelling eloquence instead! No matter how frustrating a situation may get or even pleasing, statements as "I appreciate that" in place of the usual crude 'thanks'.
Praise them for their efforts
As important as it is correcting the mistakes they make commending them when done rightly is compulsory. Complimenting them on their successes will encourage and motivate; pressing forward with more manners ultimately making it fun rather than an obligation inculcated into every behavior learned.
Encourage improvement while giving constructive Criticisms where necessary helped foster such things like table conversation skills which comes in handy family bonding sessions.
A point however to take note of would be avoiding tearing down criticism just so they stay encouraged not discouraged from trying- remember socializing takes a lot of effort!
There has been some debate about offering rewards for positive behaviors among children but one thing we know for sure reward work!! Rewards teaches the importance consistency especially within formative years.
For example, stickers reserves can be given out after display perpetuating table manners over a period once achieved family trip/outing could happen along side karaoke..How cool does this sound?
Teach Resilience/manners under pressure
One way to foster resilience during pressured moments/events( we consider these ‘stresstivities’) is indulging kids give live presentations about something peaceful (flowers), scary movies(well maybe)- speaking publicly gives children valuable experience managing nervousness thus creating confident speakers equipped with proper etiquette.
Manners under pressure also involves seamlessly interacting public places such as restaurants/beach parties remembering these tips:
- Practise active listening
- Avoid bullying others while forcing table etiquettes
- Loud body language = no go / Fingers on lips is perfect
Encourage team work
While teaching social behaviors like manners, support should come from parent and be geared towards family members rather than in competition with them. Partnering sometimes to instil formal dining habits could further improve behaviours. Get the kids involved ( everyone loves new projects!!) Make an attractive design of your own placemat as they experiment designing theirs also.. Families are never complete without teamwork!
In the same way Rome wasn't built in a day, helping children understand and apply social norms will take time; this said it’s important not to throw end result goals at them all at once but in little bits the same way “little tinkers do make for grand structures”).Remember working together produces great value outcomes.
This article aims at offering tips on practical ways establish proper likeness conduct among toddlers - remember: Raise alert! Although we shouldn’t forget that human beings act occasionally out of context- consequently making mistakes.Wish you Good luck raising well mannered persons!