Interacting with others is a key component of life skills. Learning manners as a preschooler will help to instill kindness, patience, self-control and respect at an early age. The best way to teach manners is to instruct when situations come up, but to also role play. You can role play with your family first, and then have your child practice with their dolls/stuffed animals. Don’t forget you also need to model this behavior while interacting with your family. If they see you doing it, they will follow along. Here are a few manners to work on:
1.Please-When asking for something, remind your child to ask please.
2.-Thank you-When someone does something for you, or is kind in anyway, remember to say thank you.
3- Eye contact-When speaking to someone look at their eyes. One of the “rules” in our house, that is hard to follow, is that if you want to talk to someone, you must go and find them, and look at their face. No yelling from the other room!
4-Titles-Teach your child to address people properly. This could also include a “Yes, sir”, or a “Yes, Ma’am”, if they are not familiar with a person’s name.
5-Table Manners-Try to eat at the table whenever possible. Try to teach your child to drink from a regular cup, to use a table knife, and to put a napkin on their lap, when necessary.
6-Respectful Responses-While it is okay for your child to disagree with you, it is not okay for them to talk disrespectfully. Try to calm your child down, and have a reasonably conversation when disagreements come up. Also, work on talking without whining.
7-Listening & Interrupting-Work on having only one person talk at a time and learning to wait patiently while waiting their turn.
Teaching manners is hard! Even though Tom and I work with Abe and Cal all the time with manners, they still fall into bad habits. We eat at the table for almost every meal, and we still look at them with amazement at how much they eat like caveman! We then have them promise us that they are not eating like that out in public. We have also actually looked into manners school. They actually do exist. We have not pulled the trigger, yet, but the threat of it is enough to get them back into fighting shape.