Manners are everything – Top tips for parents (however old their children) & for well-mannered children
- Mums Tips
- Parenting Skills
- Published on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:14
- Last Updated on 22 May 2016
- Kristen Harding
- 0 Comments
Most adults appreciate a child with manners, in fact everyone appreciates manners. Who wouldn’t like to know that their child is polite and helpful when they aren’t around!
Having good manners is part of being a responsible and respectful human being. It’s about not only looking out for yourself and in many cases putting someone else first.
In so many cases, manners fall by the wayside, we’re teaching our children so many things, that something has to give, but as these children transfer into teenagehood, and adulthood, the lack of becomes terribly apparent.
As a child growing up I remember having dinner at a friends house. I cleared my plate as well as making several other trips to the kitchen and I thanked my friends mum before we went back to playing. I didn’t think anything of it, but apparently it left an impression on my friends mum, because she mentioned it to my mum. I got a big hug that night and a true sense that my mom was proud of me – the best part was I didn’t really understand why – to me those actions were normal – but amongst my peers they stood out.
With so many external influences around, it’s even more important to make sure the manners you deem important are instilled in your child from an early age, whether it’s saying please and thank you or clearing their plates from the table; consistency, repetition, and role modelling are key.
At certain ages, children start testing boundaries, and they are always learning so you can’t expect them to just know what you expect. You need to set expectations before an event or situation. For example if your child is going to someone else’s house for dinner, what do you expect of them? What do you consider polite? When they come home, ask how things went, and if they don’t mention clearing the table, probe further. Even if they insist their friends don’t have to help, your expectations are more important.
Consistency and repetition
Your expectations need to be consistent if you want your children to learn them. If you expect pleases and thankyous, let them know what foe, ie say hello when someone walks into a room, or thank you when they are given a gift. You need to make sure it happens every time – even if you have to ask them to do it.
This can feel embarrassing, but it’s important. And, other parents will understand – most of them will be having the same conversations with their children. Eventually it will become second nature.
Anyone helping to raise your children needs to be on the same page. If grandma doesn’t expect a thank you and you do, this is confusing. If you give up your seat on the train or hold doors for others, your child will be more likely to see these actions as normal and mimic your behaviour.
Children learn by example. If you or your partner leave the table without clearing your plate or don’t say thank you when someone does something nice, why should they?
Kristen Harding works for Tinies, a leading childcare specialist, with over 30 years’ experience helping families, nurseries and other childcare settings find the right childcare professionals to suit their needs; from nannies to maternity nannies, nursery staff to event nannies and everything in-between. For those hiring a nanny themselves, we provide Nanny Screening services which include Nanny CRB Checks, reference checking and provision of employment contracts. www.tinies.com