These skills are important because they teach your child how to express themselves and connect with others on an emotional, respectful level. Here are some tips for adults to guide child behavior in a polite and kind way.
- Be aware of your language. Children are always listening, even when we think they’re not, so lets not slip on those please and thank-yous.
- Minimize negativity. Try and stay away from negative or angry words, and beware of your tone when you speak.
- Forgive forgetfulness. Your child might forget to say please because they are still learning what words mean. Respond with “you’re welcome” and a smile. Lets try and make politeness fun, not stressful.
- Demonstrate respect. Get down to their eye level, put a hand on their shoulder and use a polite, gentle but stern tone to express the expectations you have for your child. Manners aren’t only about the words we use, but how we use our words.
- Greetings. These gestures show the value you put on the ones you love. It’s a good way to show others that you care, and it creates an emotional bond with the people in your life.
- Start young. Just because your infant does not know how to speak yet, or your toddler is still trying out full sentences, doesn’t mean they are not learning from you. Use your manners as much as possible to give your child a head start.
- Explain. Tell your child why you use certain words as it will help create a deeper understanding. For example, the reason you say thank you is to show people you appreciate their efforts. This will also teach your child how to express themselves emotionally, which will set them up with better communication skills in their future.
Jennifer Vitaro is a wife and mother of an infant baby boy. Jennifer was the director at a childcare centre and is currently opening up her own daycare in 2017. She has been a registered Early Childhood Educator for over ten years.