As children enter preschool and attend more social environments like birthday parties, the demonstration of good manners becomes increasingly important.
Having a sensitive awareness for others will aid your child’s social development and improve their relationships. Parents are the main role models for their children, so make sure that you practice what you preach. Show your child that you treat others respectfully and deal with situations calmly. The same goes for table manners; your child will look to you for guidance. Start your teaching simply by explaining the meaning of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. These phrases can be introduced into their vocabulary as early as three years old.
Then explain the important phrase ‘excuse me’. A toddler will often try to get your (or somebody else’s) attention and should therefore learn to do so respectfully. Toddlers will initially find learning manners challenging, since their entire world is usually self-absorbed. But, persistence is key. Instill polite ways for them to express negative notions, such as: ‘no, thank you’ instead of simply, ‘no’. When your child demonstrates proper etiquette, reward them with plenty of praise.
Gradually introduce more complex concepts such as sharing such as sharing their toys with their peers. Encourage your child to consider the feelings of others by including them in play time activities. Over time, your child will execute these practices without forethought.