How to teach good manners to three year olds
To teach good manners to three year olds is not early for them to start learning the proper etiquette of social behavior. In fact you may begin as early as two years (or as soon as they are able to speak) to teach them to say sorry and thank you and please. Even if they do not learn much they will have learnt the idea of good manners and that there are ways that they may behave and ways that they may not behave. If you start early you will encounter much less resistance than if you leave it till they are 5 or 6 years old. Here are some helpful hints to guide you on your way to raising a well mannered kid.
A few suggestions
- Practice what you preach and be the role model that the child will look up to. If you use polite language in the house and the child grows up listening to it he/she will need very little coaxing to start using it too.
- The first few polite words to teach your toddler as soon he/she learns to speak is to say the magic words – ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Teach it to them through a game, ‘what do you need to say now?’ or ‘what is the magic word that Elmo uses’, generally sets the ball rolling.
- Be constant and persistent and repetitive, if need be. You should never take shortcuts in driving the lesson of politeness home. Teach it to them till it becomes a part of their speech and they use it involuntarily without hesitation.
- Next teach the toddler to say ‘hello’ when he/ she greets people and ‘goodbye’ when people leave. This is a little more difficult step and a lot depends upon the child’s mood and disposition. A shy child will hide behind the mother and refuse to be introduced.
- Have patience and perseverance and expect and be prepared for some setbacks.
- Be generous with your praise when you think it is needed.
- Don’t lose heart and give up even if you think you are making no progress and another child has learnt so much.
- Whatever you do, don’t punish the child for not picking up manners as you deem fit. Have only positive reactions and no negative ones.