Manners are not something you are born with, they must be taught. The reality is that many people really don’t have good manners. In Episode 48, Jason’s 7 year old son Kasen joins in the discussion. We do know it’s important to start early. Studies show that we can start teaching children manners at about 18 months as they begin to be aware that other people have feelings. The article we discuss in the podcast is from Parents.com.
Not being taught manners can be problematic as they go off to school and begin to deal with other people. We do know that it doesn’t happen overnight. Manner smust be taught over and over. Also, monkey see, monkey do. If you want your kids to have manners, you must display them first. Like many other parenting aspects, consistency is the key.
There are 4 Basic areas of Manners
Basic Table Manners
- What to expect: By age 3, your child should be able to eat with a spoon and fork, stay seated at the table for 15 to 20 minutes, and wipe his mouth with a napkin.
- What to do: During toddlerhood, use a no-break plate; encourage him to use his utensils; discourage him from throwing food by telling him, “We don’t throw food on the floor. If you don’t want any more, please say ‘no thank you.'”
Please and Thank You
- What to expect: An 18-month-old may be able to say the words but not necessarily grasp their true meaning. By 2 1/2, kids can link the word to the concept.
- What to do: If your child hasn’t gotten into the habit, gently prompt him by saying, “What do we say after we get a gift?” or “What do we say when someone gives us a treat?”
- What to expect: At around 2, a child begins to understand the concept of sharing and turn-taking — though he won’t necessarily relish doing either!
- What to do: Encourage your toddler to share with his friends on play dates by giving him two similar toys and helping him offer one to his friend.
- What to expect: Though a toddler of about 18 months has a basic understanding of empathy, he can’t really understand why he’s expected to apologize. By 2 1/2 to 3, he’ll understand the concept but may be too caught up in his own affairs to do it on his own.
What to do: When your child snatches a toy from a playmate, discourage the behavior and play on his empathy: “We don’t hit; hitting hurts.” Then, prompt him to apologize: “When we hurt someone, we say, ‘I’m sorry.'”
We then discuss Top 10 most important manners for young kids
- Say please. (Shows consideration for others.)
- Say thank you. (Shows appreciation and gratitude.)
- Apologize. (Shows empathy and that you are taking responsibility for your actions.)
- Smile & have a good attitude. (Makes everything better for yourself and others!)
- Make small talk. (Important social skill for friendships and, later in life, getting and keeping a job.)
- Ask questions of others. (Shows interest in others’ ideas and feelings.)
- Saying excuse me. (Shows consideration for others.)
- Look for opportunities to compliment others. (Makes others feel good, helps with reciprocal relationships.)
- Share. (Shows others you care, helps you to think of others, makes you appreciate what you have.)
- Treat others they way you want to be treated. (Covers all bases!)