Teaching Your Children Basic Courtesy-Mumsvillage

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Pregnancy & Parenting

Teaching Your Children Basic Courtesy

Children ought to learn early how to live in a community. Courtesy is a skill that will help them get along with others by learning to take other people’s feelings into concern. They are able to respect themselves and those around them too. Kids cultivate positive relationships if they are well mannered. Courtesy needs to come naturally and here are some of the fun and engaging ways to teach your kids at home.

Please and Thank you

Please pass me the…: Have the kids sit on the floor and place toys randomly around them. Sit with them and ask one of the kids to pass you a particular item. Remember to use the word please. Once you receive it, say thank you. Then have the rest of the children ask for something to be passed to them using the words please. Once they get it they say Thank you.

Say please: Act as if you are ignoring the child until they use the word please when requesting something from you. This will definitely make them used to the habit.

Reward for gratitude: Have a ribbon for your son or daughter tied on their wrist or displayed somewhere in the house. Every time our child shows genuine gratitude, you can add a bead to the ribbon. You can make it more interesting by adding more beads for unprompted gestures of gratitude such as thank you notes.


Giving and Accepting compliments

Encourage a certain good behavior by giving your child a hug, a reward or a kiss. Praise your kids for a job well done too. This should be done immediately after the act and without exaggeration. For instance, “Good job Tom for making your bed”. This also helps the kids to learn how to give compliments that are genuine as well as how to graciously receive them.


Table Manners

Pretend party: There are lots of role plays you can do at home. For instance, you can hold a pretend dinner or tea party with the kids. Practice etiquette such as receiving guests and being received as a guest. Other practices will include waiting for everyone to sit down before starting a meal, tucking your chair when you are done, adopting a good sitting posture and thanking the host.


Phone Etiquette

Pretend calls: Role play is also important when it comes to teaching your kids phone etiquette. Pretend you are having a conversation with them over the phone. Help them out with making an introduction as well as politely closing the call. Also show them how to be clear and audible over the phone.


How to Apologize

Charades: Saying sorry can be reinforced using a simple game of charades. Act out a bad mannered situation and have the rest of the players guess what the situation is. They then combine the answer with an apology. Remember that the apologies have to be genuine.

Manners detective: Let the children pretend to be detectives. They identify good and bad manners around them and report back to you for rewards or punishment.

Apology notes: Teach your kids early enough to make apology notes from the heart.


Finally, one of the best ways to teach your kids is by example. Being genuinely grateful, apologetic and being well mannered around the children will help them learn by listening and watching.


You may also like: A Superaunt’s guide to discipline your children


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