No one wants to be the parent that has the uncontrollable, rude, annoying, obnoxious, misbehaving children. However, hardly any parents take the time to teach their children the necessary manners to avoid this situation. Most parents assume that their children are just going to be angels without ever showing them, teaching them or guiding them through good manners. It’s not hard to teach your children to behave and be well mannered human beings. Here are some tips I have if you are having trouble with this.
Start when they’re young.
Don’t wait until you think they can understand you better to start teaching them about manners. There are several things you can and should be doing to teach them good manners from the moment they’re born. Yes, they probably won’t understand at that age but they will see and hear you doing these things over and over and it will stick in their brains that this is how you should act and behave.
Read about good manners.
Buy books that are about manners. There are several thousands of them to choose from. We have Polite as a Princess, How do Dinosaurs play with their friends, and Disobeying. I read one of these books at least once a week to my children either at bed time or for story time during the day.
Acting is learning.
When I read the stories about manners to my children during the day we will play and act out the book while we’re reading it and after we’re done. This helps kids learn what the book is trying to teach them. Sometimes I pretend the dinosaur or princess doll I’m playing with is the one misbehaving and ask my child if that’s how they’re supposed to behave and if not then how should they behave and I let my child’s toy that they are playing with be the “teacher” and show my toy the right way to act, and sometimes I reverse it so that my toy is the teacher toy. By letting the kids play both roles it helps them understand better and they have fun.
Practice what you preach/teach.
Just reading about manners and playing good manners during play time will not teach your children to behave well. You need to have them excersize good manners all the time. This also means that you will have to have good manners all the time. Kids learn from observing others, especially their parents. They are going to do what their parents do and act the way their parents act on a day to day basis.
When your child does misbehave (and it’s going to happen, no child or person is perfect), don’t yell or punish them right away. When you see little Johnny not sharing his toys, go over to him before it gets out of hand, have him look at you and quietly (if you’re quiet kids tend to listen better because they’re having to focus on hearing what you’re telling them) ask him if he is playing like a dinosaur would. If he says yes then ask him if a dinosaur shares his toys with friends and if he is sharing with his friends. If he still doesn’t share then stay there with him for a few minutes and play with him and his friend sharing the toys you are playing with, with his friend and showing him how to play and share.
Remember that children need to see and practice good behavior all day every day, not just out in public. A lot of children have a hard time adjusting to “out in public” behavior if it is not the normal behavior they do at home as well.