The fun part of parenting is seeing your child do the same things as you do. Sometimes it’ll feel like looking at a mini version of you. This comes with a responsibility, however, as children learn how to behave by observation. And the danger comes when they absorb whatever they see regardless of whether it is good or bad. Teaching your child good manners helps them behave and act in an appropriate manner in various social settings. Here are a few helpful tips on how to teach your child good manners.
Be Their Model
Good manners always begin at home. Parents are a child’s first teacher, so they often follow what their parents do. If you want to teach good manners to your child, be a living embodiment of what you are teaching. Leading by example is the best way to go about it. You can’t expect your child to use good manners that you don’t practice yourself. So be their model and it’ll get easier from that point.
Explaining and teaching your child good manners can help them understand its value, but the key to effective learning is constant practice. Lay out all the rules and put them in writing. And encourage your child to use good manners at all times, especially at home.
Practice Good Manners in Public
We teach our children good manners in order to make sure that they are equipped to handle social situations with confidence and respect to other people. Help your kids practice what they have learned by taking them out to restaurants, malls or the park. This creates an avenue for them to have casual social interactions and will help them gain confidence whenever they are around other people.
Teach the Five Golden Words
There are five golden words which are fundamental to teaching good manners to kids. These are:
- Thank You
- May I?
- No, Thank You
- Excuse Me
Use these words or phrases when speaking to your child in everyday conversations.This teaches them the importance of being polite in conversations and in every interaction.
Use Positive Reinforcement
As with teaching anything to young kids, positive reinforcement has been one of the most effective methods of training. Children appreciate the attention their parents give them — especially when they hear praise. Praising your kids by pointing out the good they’ve done makes them feel good about keeping it up. If you catch your child being polite, acknowledge it. This will not only put a smile on their face but also encourage the behavior.
Teach table manners
Table manners are an integral part of proper etiquette. Train your child with table manners as soon as they can feed themselves. You can then practice daily by having meals together. Your child will likely observe how you eat your meals, so be sure to set yourself as a model of good table manners. Correct them if you must, but reward them when they follow the rules.
Another area in which parents need to model good behavior is by the way they are speaking. Children emulate what they observe, and a lot of it comes from their parents. When you are not too careful with the words you use, you may soon catch your child use the same words or speak in the same manner sooner or later.
We want to raise children who are open to ideas and do not hold strong biases against a particular group or belief. If you happen to have these biases, take them elsewhere and never speak about them in front of your kids. Teach your child to be a judge of character and not of race, gender and color. Bestowing this mindset upon your kids will make them more respectful and accepting of others.
Need more great parenting advice? At Handprints Academy, we’re always happy to help. Visit us today at Handprints Academy or call (214) 484-1018 for more information.