Do you want your kid to be well-mannered? It's actually not that hard. The key is to be polite and respectful yourself.
You are a constant role model
As the saying goes, “Children don't do as you say, they do as you do”.
There are lots of ways to teach good manners in social situations. You can show your child how we say “thank you”, “hello” and “good bye”, receive gifts politely, how we behave at the table – and how to wipe their nose on a tissue rather than their arm.
Learning good manners takes time, practice and a good role model – you. If you give praise, ask politely for things and say thank you, you're well on the way. Everyone in the family should treat its youngest member – and each other – with respect.
Here are some things you can do to encourage good manners:
• Praise your child when they do something good.
• Pass on any praise he or she has received from others.
• Teach and practise various behaviours using role-play – use puppetry or plays.
• Have age-appropriate expectations.
• Make sure you maintain eye contact and show attention to your child while he or she is talking.
• If you want your child to be careful of your things and those of others, treat your child's toys with the same level of care.
• If your child hears expressions such as “please”, “thank you”, “I'm sorry” and “Please can I...” often enough, using them becomes second nature.
• Be patient. Remember that some kids need more time to feel comfortable in the company of others.
• Pressure doesn't work, but reminders do.
It will take many years and many reminders for your child to learn all the unwritten rules of our society, so a large measure of patience is helpful. But eventually they'll do great. Another good way to bond well with your child is Fun and games together.
Good manners start with you
If you treat one another calmly and with respect at home, you probably won't have to think too much about the phrase “well-mannered”.