Every parent wants their children to possess good character and manners especially to adults as well as to other children. This is because a child’s manners and respect towards other people is a reflection of their upbringing. For you to teach good manners to your child, you must first understand the basis of these manners for the manners to be a reflection of a considerate and loving personality. Here are a few tips on how you can teach your child good and courteous manners. (See other parenting topics)
1. Teach politeness from an early age
Teach your child to use polite words right from when they are young in their lives. From as young as 2 years, children can learn how to use polite words like “thank you” and “please”. Despite young children not understanding the social graciousness and concept of polite words, at least they are able to identify that you should say please when you are asking for something and thank you for showing appreciation.
When talking to your child, you should use polite words so that you are able to lead by example. When your child grows up using such words, it will become quite easy to teach them good manners and train them on how to respect other people in the society.
2. Teach respect
The basis and root of good manners is respect. You should teach your child how to be respectful to other people. Respect and sensitivity are some of the exceptionally valuable qualities that you can instill in your child right from infancy. Sensitivity helps children to become naturally respectful and mindful of other people’s feelings and will make the child naturally well-mannered.
A child’s politeness becomes more heartfelt when the child is respectful to others. However, it is worth noting that respect goes two ways and as such, when you want your child to respect you and others, you must respect him/her first.
3. Model manners
Right from a young age, you should let your child become exposed to good manners. From as early as 2 years, you should let your child live in a well-mannered environment that prioritizes on respect, courtesy, and good behavior. Let your child grow up knowing that only good manners, politeness, and respect are acceptable in your home. Address your child in a polite and well-mannered way while at the same time ensuring that you are mindful of their feelings.
4. Acknowledge your child
You should never assume your child’s presence at home at any given time. Children are not only meant to be seen but heard too. You should let your child feel as part of the family by involving him/her in the family on-goings and plans. Let the child know that he/she has a place in the family and that their input in the family is valuable.
Including your child in the family’s dealings goes a long way in teaching social skills as well as acknowledging the importance of other people’s presence and input in their lives. You should let your child feel physically and emotionally close to you at all times.
5. Correct politely
It is obvious that your child will make mistakes from time to time. When such is the case, it is only right that you correct him/her politely by ensuring that you do not yell or rant at the child. While making mistakes is expected and common in children, how you correct him/her may damage their self esteem and they tend to become resistive and arrogant. When you correct your child politely, it becomes easy to let the child realize that what he/she did was wrong and should not be repeated.
6. Avoid forcing manners
Do not force your child to adopt good manners. Instead, you should teach these manners to the child gradually so that it becomes easy for them to learn. It is worth noting that teaching good manners to children can be likened to pet training. As much as you want your child to learn good manners, you should do it gradually so that you do not face any resistance or arrogance from the child. The best way to teach these manners is by incorporating them in the day to day life of the child so that the manners become part of their life.
7. Your behavior counts
Children most often imitate and copy their children especially as far as manners and behaviors are concerned. As such, you should watch your words and actions when interacting with other people in the child’s presence. For instance, when asking your partner to do something for you such as pass salt, you should use polite language by using words such as please and thank you. Avoid using inappropriate expressions of anger and cussing in the child’s presence.
8. Consistency is important
Good manners take time to learn and practice. Do not expect your child to learn good manners and adopt them right away. Instead, it takes time and effort to understand and perfect these manners. This is why it is necessary to ensure that you become consistent in advocating for good manners and discouraging ill behavior. You should ensure that your partner and caregiver work together with you in promoting good manners at all times.
9. Good manners last a lifetime
It is important for your child to understand that good manners are not only meant to be used in childhood only. Instead, these manners are supposed to grow old with the child right from childhood to old age. When everyone adopts good manners, it becomes easy for people to live together peacefully and in harmony.
10. Show love and care
Bring up children in love and care not only for themselves but for other people too is the greatest achievement that any parent can ever take pride in and boast of. This is because most of the present day social problems are as a result of hatred and lack of concern and care for other people. Foster love, care, and concern in your children and teach them how to express this love to other people.
When in the presence of your child, it is always important to ensure that you watch your tone and language as these two are inextricably connected. In addition to this, tone also influences the kind of attitude that your child will have towards other people and life in general. Requiring your children to express themselves politely and respectfully is a great place to start when teaching them good manners.
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