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As a parent, I am constantly reminded that my role is to foster the development of my kiddos. It isn’t always easy, by any means. But, seeking advice and encouragement from others and striving to do better is part of the journey. When it comes to teaching children manners, there are so many different tips and tricks. But above all, the most important thing we can do is to be the example; while words and teachings are great and can certainly make an impact, showing the way is more powerful. We are going to discuss a few simple strategies for teaching children manners in a variety of settings, including at school and during play, as well as some tips for handing bumps you may encounter along your journey.
Tips for Teaching Children Manners at School
Children can spend upwards of 1/3-1/2 of their waking hours at school, so teaching them how to maintain manners when we are not in sight is important. With numerous children in a classroom and often one teacher, it’s no wonder that manners can sometimes be forgotten by school aged children. As parents, part of our role is instilling core values that can in return, encourage good manners. Let’s review some tips for teaching manners at school.
Teaching Manners In the Classroom
Manners at school, extend beyond saying “please” and “thank you”. Encourage your children to listen attentively to the teacher’s instructions and during lesson time. In addition to showing respect toward their teacher, children should be encouraged to show respect toward their peers. Actions such as raising hands, keeping a tidy workstation, putting supplies back when not in use, and listening are all important skills to practice when in the classroom. While each classroom may practice different rules, it’s important for children to learn to follow them in an effort to show respect for both the educator and their peers.
Teaching Manners In the Cafeteria
The school’s cafeteria could in many cases, be the first time a child is dining regularly outside of their parent’s supervision. While a child may not be equipped to learn an entire etiquette course, they can learn some simple cafeteria manners such as staying in their seat while eating, throwing away their own trash, waiting patiently for their food while in the lunch line, and while having fun, not being disruptive toward other students who are enjoying their lunches.
Tips for Teaching Children Manners During Play
Children play both during school hours, and while at home. A few key concepts to instill in children when it comes to playtime are sharing toys and activities, inviting children who don’t have anyone to play with to join them, waiting patiently for their turn and being mindful overall of their environment. Kindness goes a long way when it comes to building relationships with other children; teach your child to be inclusive of others during play.
Now, while it would be great if our child(ren) listened perfectly to everything we taught them, but in reality we will likely run into bumps in the road. Keep reading for some troubleshooting ideas.
Teaching Children Manners – What to Do When you Hit a Bump in the Road
In many instances, you will encounter bumps along the journey to teach your child(ren) manners. If you are struggling, you aren’t alone. A first step to take corrective action, is to seek information and support. Speak with your child’s teachers, mentors and caregivers to gather information about behaviors and observations. Educate yourself on available resources and tools to help you communicate with your child(ren).
Consider role play as a way to work through issues with your child(ren). Outside tools such as the Molly Manners doll Nora is shown holding above, by Baby’s First, can offer additional support and guidance to us as parents. We turned to using role play coaching at many points with each of our children. We have found that a tool as simple as a doll, can be instrumental in beginning engaging conversations with young children. If you are struggling in your journey to teach manners, consider adding in outside coaching tools.
We hope our simple tips for teaching manners will offer some guidance as you work daily in the very important role as a parent with your own children!