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Where Are Your Manners?
As a kid, I remember sitting at the table with my grandparents, eating dinner and grandpa reminding us that elbows needed to be off the table and no speaking unless spoken to. Was that harsh? Gosh no, it was to prevent outburst, it was to give each person an equal opportunity to tell everyone about their days. Where I grew up you said thank you, you’re welcome, yes please, no thank you, used sir and ma’am, held doors, said may I versus I want. We lived in a different world then, and I’m only 28. But I grew up in the country, things are a little more old school there and I miss that. I miss the slower pace, the greater appreciation for time, for family and the world around you. What am I getting at? Manners! Manners have almost disappeared without a trace and it is frightening! But, as parents we can fight it! We can teach our children to have basic manners and I am here to help you do that! Follow along as I uncover these tips and tricks that will help you teach your child to use manners everyday!
1. Thank You and You’re Welcome!
I’m immediately think the song You’re Welcome from Moana! It’s the newest Disney animation and if you haven’t seen it, then shame on you! It’s super charming! Anyways! Start as soon as your child can point to something. If they point to the bottle, you say “thank you” for them and you also say “you’re welcome cute little baby” or whatever your kids name is! They need to hear it or they won’t know how to use it. Use those simple manners everywhere you go. Super simple!
2. Please and May I!
Works just like the first set of manners! When you are playing and you ask your toddler to bring you a Lego or book. Make sure you say please. When you are ordering food in the drive thru at McDonald’s, maybe say “May I please get a large coke?” Or use “yes please” as often as possible! The simple phrase, “Mama may I have a snack please? OR “mama may I please have a snack?” Are great examples of teaching your child the polite way to ask for something. My toddler is in the stages of the “I Wants” and it is entirely exhausting! My husband and I are constantly saying “sissy instead of saying I want, say mama may I, have a, snack please?” The commas are giving sissy a chance to repeat us! Having them repeat you is a great way to teach them when is the proper time to say please or use May I!
3. Bless You or Excuse You!
This one has been one of my favorites and one of the first manners my kids used! Whenever they sneeze, make sure you say “bless you” or “excuse you”, whichever you prefer! But as they see you use the manner after an action. It will very soon start to make sense that when someone sneezes, you use that manner! My daughters always says “bless you daddy” in the cutest little heartfelt voice! I love it! My husband sneezes like 5 times in a row so she really gets a lot of practice with him! Encourage your children to say it when they hear someone sneeze!
4. Pardon Me!
We are big fans of using this one! I can still hear Sis, “whhhaaatt?” Ugh! Worst! When we hear her say “what” we always respond with “pardon me”. We are trying to teach her that there are other ways to say or ask something in a more polite way. We use this phrase often while we walk around Target. Sis is not very good at staying close to me, she likes to lead the way! But when we approach someone or she is not paying attention and is about to walk into someone, she says “pardon me, I’m so sorry”. How did I get her to do that? Every time she was walking into someone… she gets distracted a lot at target, let’s be real, super easy to do! I remind her to say pardon me. I get on her level and explain the how she must pay attention to where she is going. We apologize for running into them, she says “pardon me, I’m so sorry” they love it!
5. Eye Contact!
This one is a big one here people! This is not only important for proper manners but it respectful and it ensures your children are listening. When Sis is throwing a fit, I get down on here level and get eye contact before I start talking. Many people are so involved in their phones now days that the common characteristics of good communication are now in the form of responding to a text message within 30 seconds. Have no fear, we can change that though and it starts with our children. Start with your nightly conversations with your toddler, talk to them about their day, look at them when you are talking and make eye contact with them when they are talking. Its polite and we really need to do more of this.
These 5 simple manners are simple and easy for your child to start using in no time!
Start with our favorite manners book below! Introducing your child to manners through a bedtime story is a great way to start at a young age! This is such a cute book and I’m sure your little ones will love it too!
I remember the first time as a mom that I was complimented on how polite the girls were, I was beyond proud! My hard work was paying off, they now use mannerisms like it is second nature. They don’t need to be reminded that often and I am loving it. It is the sweetest thing when we hear them say “bless you mama”, or “no thank you daddy”. We are loving it! Your children can do this too! Start with these 5 super simple manners and build from there! Children are always watching you, so make sure you are using manners as often as possible! Lead by example folks and your children will follow in your footsteps!