There are many things that a child will only really learn from their parents or guardians. While it helps to get kids started on math, reading and other basic academic schools at home, teaching kids these subjects from the ground up is not always the sole task of the parent. With school, kids can benefit from a head start, but will learn most of what they need to know from their teachers and aides. But there are some basic life skills that parents and guardians do need to teach their children, because no one else, especially not strangers, will step up to the plate. One of these things happens to be good manners.
Parents play an integral role in implementing a child’s many habits, from healthy eating to teeth brushing, but manners should also be considered important. As a parent or a guardian, it is your job to teach kids how to be people, how to be adults, how to interact with others, and how to be a valuable member of society. In order for that to happen, kids need to learn how to behave and how to act in a way that is conducive to building strong relationships with others and the world around them.
When it comes to teaching kids anything, it helps not to enforce it too much. As important as some things are, asserting too much aggression when trying to teach them something new can be damaging, especially when it is a habit that you would like for them to adopt and adapt to. Some children might be resistant to such tactics, but there are other ways to instill good core values in your children that will carry over into how they carry themselves.
Lead by example. Many experts agree that leading by example is one of the better ways to teach a child a new skill, a new habit, or to even instill their interest in something. Similar studies show that children are more likely to pick up a book or develop an interest in reading if they see that their parents read often when they are around. Kids like to be just like their parents, so setting a good example is a great way to start.
Be positive! Even when you are simply having a conversation, whether around your child or whether you are speaking to them directly, try to be positive. This applies to both tone of voice and vocabulary. Sharing things that are inherently positive is good too! Negativity or gossiping can affect children and the way they behave. If they see you swapping stories over coffee with another parent about other parents or their children, or even anything else in general, they may adopt that same behavior, tone of voice and generalized topic discussion with their friends or when speaking with others. If kids are used to talking positively at home, they will most likely carry these traits over to when they are at school or socializing with friends.
Use positive reinforcement. Taking note of when your child uses good manners on their own can help, too. Note when they say “please” and “thank you” and compliment them genuinely when you see them do something nice of their own volition. It’s one thing to “make” your children be polite, but if you see them act accordingly on their own, they are more likely to continue doing so.
Being polite and minding manners is more than just a social show-off. It can actually help kids’ academic success and will help strengthen their social skills. Minding manners is a big part of being a student in a classroom, and if kids know how they should be acting and do so, they will sit quietly throughout their lessons and pay attention. It is not the teacher’s job, necessarily, to tell kids how to behave but it is part of their job to enforce good behavior. Acting politely also helps kids thrive in social situations as well. As early as their days at playing in the park, a polite child will find more playmates willing to interact with them and may be better equipped to handle rude or difficult children, too.
Your Child is the Star of Each Story!