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Teaching Good Manners

Teaching your child good manners should never be underestimated and is an important aspect of parenting.

Poor manners have become an increasing problem in schools with children lacking respect for teachers, staff and their peers. This has resulted in teachers spending time teaching manners and basic etiquettes, that no doubt should have been established at home.

Teaching good manners inevitably has to start early on and from a young age, so never feel your child is too young to learn manners. Even if they can’t communicate with you they will still be able to hear and observe the body language associated with good manners.

Ten ways to help your child develop good manners

1. Be an excellent role model- treat people well, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, apologise for any mistakes and be helpful and respectful of others. Modelling good manners is key- children learn by observing others and mimicking their behaviour. Always display manners which you would like your child to follow.

2. Practise family politeness- always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to your children, so they will model this and it comes naturally to them. Make it a rule that requests are not considered without a ‘please’ and always wait and ‘expect’ a thank you.

3. Teach your child not to interrupt people, including you, or other adults who are speaking. If they do interrupt, explain that ‘they don’t like people interrupting them, so they must not interrupt others’.

4. Encourage them to write ‘thank you notes or cards’ and letters for present they may have received. Always make sure they do this soon after receiving gifts. This teaches an appreciation of others and value for what they have been given.

5. Explain the importance of saying ‘goodbye’ to someone who is leaving the house or a party and always expect them to do this.

6. Teach them the importance of sharing and being aware of others around them and empathising. Compliment and praise them when you see them sharing or being kind, perhaps through a Reward or Star Chart.

7. Encourage your child to treat others as they would like to be treated, by being kind and considerate.

8. Have high expectations of behaviour and manners at home and not just when you go out. Do not expect your child to have excellent table manners when you dine out, if at home, you have not worked at establishing these.

9. Be consistent in your approach, even though you may at times struggle to enforce good manners. It will be worth it in the long term and once your child realises you have certain expectations that have to be met, they are less likely to challenge them in the future.

10.  Catch them being good! Always praise good behaviour as this is a wonderful tool for learning and teaching positive atttidues. See our page on Behaviour Management.

Finally make sure your child is happy and healthy so they are willing to practise good manners. When children are tired or their needs are not met this is usually when they misbehave.

Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net



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