It is very difficult to judge how polite preschoolers should be. After all, it seems very normal for a child to jump up from the dinner table after he has gobbled his food. Or not to say thanks when someone brings him an unexpected gift.
“While it’s normal for preschoolers to still be self-centered, teaching manners reminds them that other people in the world matter and deserve respect,” says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Temple University, in Philadelphia. Well this is the right time to teach social manners to your child as he is all eager to please you. So start working on him now!
Children are born with many innate abilities but to behave politely is not one of them. So it is your responsibility to teach your child how to behave politely.
Every parent dreams of a well-mannered child who says “please” and “thank you.” The child’s behaviour reflects on you. To some children manners come easily while others have to struggle. To live in harmony in this world, good manners are very important. Cordial manners reflect a loving and kind personality.
Read on to learn how to raise a well-mannered, friendly and courteous child.
1. Expect respect
We begin teaching good manners to children right from the birth but we don’t call them so. The basis of good manners is respect for others which comes with sensitivity. Sensitivity is one of the most important qualities to instill into your child from the birth. The sensitive child will become the respectful child who in turn will become a well-mannered person as he will learn to care for people’s feelings. This politeness will be more heartfelt as compared to something he learns from a book.
2. Teach polite words early
Even a two year child can learn to say “please” and “thank you.” Even though toddlers don’t understand the social affability of these words, but they do understand that “please” is how they get what they want and “thank you” is how they end an interaction. At least you have inculcated these social niceties into the child’s vocabulary. Later, they will use these words with the understanding that it make others feel good. Even before a child understands the meaning of these words, he learns that they are important because mom and dad use them and they have great expressions on their faces while using them. In short, children understand their usefulness before their meaning.
3. Model manners
At a young age, child says what he hears. So let your child hear words like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘you are welcome’ when you interact with others throughout the day. Address your children also with same politeness as you do an adult.
4. Acknowledge the child
Keep your child engaged and stay connected with him in situations that put him at risk for undesirable behaviour. During a visit where there are only adults, remember to keep your child close to you so that he does not feel alienated and maintain frequent verbal and eye contact.
5. Don’t force manners
Language is a skill that should be enjoyed by the child, not forced. At times, it is ok to expect a please from a child before giving him what he wants but don’t be rigid and expect it every time he asks for something. If you expect such polite words every time, the child may tire of these words even before he understands. Remind your child to say ‘please’ as a part of good manners and not as a requirement. Overdo politeness when you are teaching it and your child will faster.Language is a skill that should be enjoyed by the child, not forced. Click To Tweet
6. Correct politely
Correct your child when he is wrong with a polite gesture instead of shouting at him. This will make the child feel that you are correcting him because you care for him. He will realize that you want him to earn through his mistakes.
25 Manners Preschoolers Should Know
Help preschoolers master these simple manners which will definitely get him noticed.
- When asking for something, say ‘Please.’
- When receiving something, say ‘Thank you.’
- Do not interrupt when elders are talking unless there is an emergency.
- Say ‘excuse me’ if you want to enter the conversation and need someone’s attention.
- Take permission if you have a doubt regarding something It will save you from being sorrowful later.
- Keep negative opinions to yourself.
- Do not comment on other’s physical characteristics unless it is to compliment them.
- When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
- After spending time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over.
- Knock on closed doors before entering.
- When you call your friend, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
- Be appreciative and say ‘thank you’ for any gift you receive.
- Do not use foul language in front of adults.
- Don’t call people mean names.
- Do not make fun of anyone for any reason.
- Even if you find a play or an assembly boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that it is interesting.
- If you bump into somebody, say ‘Excuse me.’
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- As you walk out of a door, hold it open for someone else.
- If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbour doing something, ask if you can help.
- When an adult asks you for a favour, do it without being upset and with a smile.
- When someone helps you, say ‘thank you.’
- Use eating utensils properly. If you do not know how to use them, ask your parents to teach you.
- Always keep a napkin with you and use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
- Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.
It is the responsibility of both parents and teachers to teach good manners to preschoolers.