The holiday season is a magical time when family and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company. And it’s is also a perfect time to help a young child learn and practice good manners. Helping young children develop good manners is important because it gets them noticed in a positive way! It costs nothing, but adds tremendous value to the quality of your child’s life, and to their perceived image outside of your home.
Here are 10 ways to help young children make manners a natural part of their character:
- Model good manners yourself, and point out other examples: “That was so nice of that lady to hold the door open for us.”
- Encourage your child to say “please” when asking for something.
- Practice saying “thank you” when she receives something requested.
- Help him say “you’re welcome” when someone thanks him. (Personal pet peeve: When did “no problem” take the place of “you’re welcome”?)
- Make good manners a habit. If your child uses good table manners at home, she’ll most likely use them when she’s a guest.
- Teach your child that when he seeks adult attention, he should not interrupt. Say “excuse me” (unless, of course, it’s an emergency).
- Remind her not to talk with her mouth full.
- Ask him not to reach and grab for things. Instead, ask them to be passed.
- Give gentle reminders of how to act before going to a friend’s or family member’s home. For example, “Let’s not forget to help clean up the toys before we go home.”
- Help them draw or write thank-you notes or emails for all gifts received.
As a parent, teaching your child to think, talk, and act respectfully is one of the most important gifts you can give!