Children are born without any impression or knowing; they begin only to have their blank paper filled from the influences that they are exposed to daily. Many people agree that few things are as delightful in a child as cultured and fine manners; and that it can be really embarrassing to watch a poorly behaved child, particularly in public, and especially if that child is yours. The key to raising a cultured child that positively stands out lies in starting them early on good manners, consistency and a few other factors.
READ ALSO: 5 Table Manners That’ll Make Your Child Look Cute
Here are some tips to help you teach manners to your children:
1. Start With The Basics
First, teach your child the basics, like how to greet people and the five essential words and phrases as part of their primary vocabulary. These five “Please,” “thank you,” “May I, “Excuse me,” and “No, thank you,” should be taught to children from the early stages and be used by parents and adults when speaking to them also.
2. Model Manners
Do not teach or order your children to do one thing while you do the exact opposite. If you are going to raise your kids to have fine manners, they should have a model in you as well. In fact the first step to having a mannerly child is being a mannerly parent; in this case “Do as I say, not as I do” will just not work.
3. Practice At Home
Don’t just teach your child about social etiquette, then send them to school, provide their needs and assume that your job is done as a parent. Teach and guide them. Nurture the teachings and have them practice some of the good manners you have taught them till it becomes a habit. For instance you can say: ‘Let’s practice some table manners today’.
4. Take Them Out In Public
Once you have taught and reinforced manners for your kids in the privacy of your home, it’s time to take them out in the public too and see if they do just as fine. The wisdom in doing this is to help your child understand that there is a place and a time for everything. There is appropriate behaviour for different places, you could take them to a casual restaurant, a shopping mall or a library. Different public places will provide unique chances for you to teach them specific manners of public conduct.
READ ALSO: 12 Basic Manners Every Child Ought To Be Taught
5. Give Positive Reinforcement
You should not only notice it when your child’s manners falls slightly short, you should appreciate how well they carry themselves in many other ways. Children love praises and like attention even more, by praising their mannerly behaviours, they will tend to want to do more, but if you ignore their good manners, they will do what they have to do to get your attention, even if it means rebelling and displaying bad manners.
6. Correct Immediately
It may be easier to turn a blind eye to a child’s bad behaviour than to correct them immediately, but it is counter-productive. When you correct them immediately, they learn faster and connect the behaviour to the correction. For example, when you find your child isn’t sitting properly, is eating with both hands or interrupting you while you are speaking with a friend; you should firmly but kindly instruct them at that moment on what is proper behaviour.
7. Invest In Quality Education
Education truly is the best legacy. Put your child in a decent school where other pupils, teachers and caregivers display positive manners. This is because during school sessions, your child spends a good part of his day with these people and you won’t want him sucked in on contrary teachings that can influence his manners negatively.
READ ALSO: 6 Things I Have Learned Must Be Done Before Hiring a Maid or Nanny (Part Two)
8. Be Firm and Consistent
Your duty in raising your child with good manners is not an overnight one. Like with imparting other forms of knowledge , it takes effort and consistency to help children master fine manners. Don’t get tired, don’t stop reinforcing them, and you will soon be proud of them.
9. Speak well
Speech habits are so important. Often parents may sabotage their own efforts at raising well mannered kids by their choice of language or manner of speaking. Again, this is an area in which you need to model the correct behavior. Avoid slang-ridden speaking habits, be concise, clear well-spoken yourself, if that’s what you expect your child to be.
10. Subtly Coach Others
You will not always be with your child, this makes it important to ensure that those who help you mind or care for her in your absence have the right manners as well. It is a bonus if your child’s primary caregivers have good etiquette, but if they don’t, you can create deliberate opportunities for them to learn so their manners don’t rub off on your impressionable child.
11. Tone Down With The Prejudices
Be careful to not spoil your good work of raising a mannered child by projecting your private biases about a group or persons because your children will model your biases. If you hold strong opinions about a particular group or person, you should not make this a public point. Teach your children to judge a person by their character and not race, gender, religion, or nationality.
There you go mums, 11 awesome tips to help you raise positive, good-mannered kids.
Tags: Etiquette, Guidelines, Manners, Tips
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