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Teaching basic good manners

 
Teaching our kids basic good manners is a process closely tied to their development. From your instruction and example, they establish a basic understanding of how they should interact with people and behave in a variety of situations.
Teaching our kids basic good manners is a process closely tied to their development.

From your instruction and example, they establish a basic understanding of how they should interact with people and behave in a variety of situations.

Kids first learn manners at home. Manners or ‘etiquette’ are the conventional behaviour expected amongst our society, but they’re also more than that.

They are about thinking of others and recognising we aren't the only ones who matter. This isn’t always easy for preschoolers to grasp!
 
Here are some basic manners you can help preschoolers learn.
 

1. Please and Thank You


These are probably the easiest manners to teach preschoolers. When they need or want something, firmly ask for a polite and respectful "please", or a gentle reminder "What's the magic word?".

You may feel like you’re always reminding them, but don’t give up! Before long saying "please" will become second nature.
 
Saying "Thank you" is equally important. Teach your children to say thank you whenever they receive something from another person.

If they cannot offer a direct thank-you, help them do so by phone, written note or email. Again gentle reminders may be needed until 'thank you' becomes second nature.

Extend ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ into everyday conversations too, such as "Please pick up your books." "Thank you for the beautiful drawing".
 

2. Table Manners


Good table manners start at home. Your child can practice these skills at home to use in other social situations when they're out. Learning good table manners will last them a life time.

Eating together at the table, for example, is a simple way to instil and reinforce table manners and mealtime behaviour.

Teaching good table manners can be matched with your child’s age to include:
 
  • Chewing with your mouth closed
 
  • Sitting quietly for the duration of the meal
 
  • Taking turns talking
 
  • Not talking with a mouthful of food
 
  • Eating what is served
 
  • Holding utensils correctly
 
  • Using napkins if they’re provided
 
  • Asking to be excused from the table
 

3. People skills


Learning to interact with other people is also an important party of your child's development.

Model positive behaviour when you meet others and teach your preschooler to do the same. Examples include:
 
  • Acknowledging others
 
  • Making eye contact
 
  • Saying hello and good-bye
 
  • Answering questions when asked
 
  • Speaking respectfully

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