One question often asked by parents is how best to teach their children manners. Teaching children manners is a tricky proposition. Some experts argue that expecting children under the age of five to have “good” manners is developmentally inappropriate. For children who are still very egocentric in their world-view, being respectful to others and using kind words is something that does not come naturally, but instead needs adult encouragement and modeling.
Not only do manners help later in life by making you more enjoyable to talk to, but they also improve confidence and self-esteem in children and adults. A polite person is a more confident one, because he or she knows how to behave and what to say in any situation. This in turn puts others at ease.
It is important to foster these skills both at preschool and at home, by reminding the children about their pleases and thank-yous, and helping them to find words to use when necessary. Parents and teachers should also encourage them to acknowledge others who are speaking to them. This is the time of life when these things become normal to children. Consistency between home and school goes a long way!
Do not be discouraged or disappointed in your child if they do not exhibit manners naturally. Learning does not happen overnight!
Submitted by Leah Rosenthal-Kambic, Kid-Time, Inc.