Good manners are something that many older generations would say this generation lacks. While it's true that we lack a lot of face to face communication, we don't have to accept generations to come as completely rude. It's important to teach our children good manners. Good manners will take them far in life! Here are some of my favorite ways to teach the importance of manners:
I like to set up scenarios for my little one to practice being polite. This is so much fun! We practice how to behave around older folks, what to say when someone gives you something and how to treat those serving you at the supermarket or a restaurant. I like to customize this based on situations that we're in often. I have also reversed the role, making my child play the part of someone who wasn't treated very nice. It really hits home and helps kids to remember to always treat others with respect!
When I was growing up, my Mother always used to give me gentle reminders to be polite. I find myself doing the same thing. When someone gives my child something, you can often find me prompting them to say "Thank you!" I also give reminders to hold doors, to smile at others and to give up their seat to someone who needs it.
Lead By Example
Little ones are parrots. They imitate everything they see, good or bad. When you treat other people politely, they'll learn that manners are expected of them too. Remember who's watching you, even in those difficult moments!
Extended LearningThere are so many awesome books, videos, TV shows and more about manners. Nearly every children's show on PBS has a whole episode devoted to treating others well. My family loves PBS's Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Nearly every episode has a great character quality and the cast mates always treat other characters well. On the flip side, take note of the shows your child is watching. A lot of shows these days feature cartoon characters that aren't so respectful!
Teaching your child good manners will help them to build better relationships, have a greater sense of compassion and will help them grow into adults who truly treat others the best that they can.
While it takes a little more effort, it's worth it in the long run!
How do you teach your child manners?