MANNERS FOR TODDLERS
Why manners are so important?
Manners reflect our heart, they affect the people near us and our relationships with them.
The perfect time to begin teaching your kids good manners is during the toddler years. When this phase passes, this is more difficult. If you teach your children that the normal way to behave is being polite and considerate, they will keep it for life.
Being polite is an expression of a trained heart which considers, respects, loves others. We are patient with others because we think they are important and have something interesting to say. We have to base our instruction on the understanding of why it is important.
Everyday we have good opportunities to teach good manners, but remember: our kids need repetition and reinforcement from their parents and teachers. They also need to understand the reason for courtesy.
Good manners need to be taught at home, but also in the school, where children meet other children and develop social skills. There are many situations where we can reinforce these good manners.
If we take the “do what I say but no what I do” it will never work. Be a good model. This tip works for any situation, don’t forget it. Even for table manners it is crucial, we have to be patient.
Please and thank-you, these magic words express respect, as well as facing other people when they talk to them. Sometimes it is difficult for them but if they are invited to do it, never forced, they eventually will learn it.
When playing with other children. Sometimes they find it difficult to share; toddlers are self-centered and don’t treat others fairly. This is a good opportunity to work on it by explaining him/her why some behaviour are nice and others are not, teach them to take turns and to ask for things politely.
Sharing, waiting turns and not interrupting others are important because they reflect respect and consideration., something we are missing these days. We have the opportunity to teach the moral reason and so, changing a little our society. We don’t want these actions to be skin deep with our kids. To do it, we have to work on one step at a time, for example greeting: first making eye contact, then waving, after saying hello and then they are ready to initiate conversation.
Remember: don’t embarrass them, correct them privately, a relaxed situation is more effective. When praising them, do it for the heart in the action, not for the action, the important side of the behaviour is the moral reason.
Manners have to do with love, patience and tolerance.