The stage more often referred to as the “formative years” is one of the most critical stages in a child’s life. Children absorb so much from their environment during the ages of three to five, and it’s in these years where a child’s character and individual traits are formed and developed. As parents, we should pay close attention to what our children are exposed to in these years, and look at how the environment and our influence as parental figures affect them.

Considering the rate at which children take in information at this stage makes it the perfect time to instill some core values in them and start teaching your kids good manners.

Good manners help children adapt better in social situations. And part of raising well-mannered children is to set yourself as a good example for them. You’d want them to get attention for good reasons and not for misbehaving around others. This is what makes it exceedingly important to teach good manners at an early age — and start as early as possible. Here are six simple ways to teach your child good manners. 

Correct On the Spot

We can’t expect kids to be perfect right on the go.  Kids will be kids and it’s important to acknowledge that as parents, we are responsible to teach and show them how to behave at home, and how to act in social situations. 

Mistakes create an opportunity for learning. When you correct your child ‘in action’, it helps them acknowledge the mistake and allows them to shape their manners based on what’s expected of them. Some kids might test the limits when corrected but consistent correction can often do the trick. Correcting your child on the spot can also put an immediate stop to any unwanted behavior.

If your child is being noisy in a public place, call his attention and give out a reason why they should tone it down. Let them know that others are in the same area and the noise can distract them from what they do. This shows your child how to be considerate of others while teaching them that being noisy in a public place is not always okay.

Be Respectful in Providing Corrections

Corrections should be made as necessary but being respectful when providing corrections is equally important. We want to be careful when correcting our child. Being aggressive when providing corrections can sometimes come off as rude and it’s not what we want our children to mirror. 

Be sensitive to your child’s frame of mind and examine the situation. If you feel that it’s not appropriate, talk to your child in private and explain. Avoid yelling at your child when something they do is wrong. Instead, get to their level, gain eye contact and speak with them calmly. This teaches your child how to communicate to others with respect instead of letting their emotions get ahead of them when pointing out that something is wrong. 

Model Good Manners

Keep in mind that your every action is being watched  because it is part of your child’s observant nature. Children are great imitators. In their eyes, whatever their parents do is okay for them to do and it snowballs from there. This is why we must be mindful of what we let our children see and how we act in front of them. Use this to your advantage by teaching them good manners at an early age. Set rules for how to behave at home and around others and model that behavior yourself. If you decide to ban phones at the dinner table, make sure to keep everybody’s phones away including yours. No exceptions. Model good manners at all times and it will come as no surprise that your kids will soon follow. 

The Magic Words

What’s the magic word? We hear this all the time, and in fact there are five. Introducing these phrases lay the foundation for your child to practice speaking politely to others and will gear them towards making positive interactions with whomever they speak with. Make sure to add the following to their vocabulary as early as possible, and as you may already know, these phrases are: Please, Thank You, May I, Excuse Me and No, Thank You. 

Constant practice is also the key to more effective learning. Using the words “please” and “ thank you” in your daily interactions help your kids emulate this positive behavior in their own day-to-day interactions with others. 

Teach Sensitivity and Respect

Respect is rooted in sensitivity. Whereas good manners is rooted in respect. Teaching your child the value of being sensitive to others’ feelings helps them treat people with respect,which in the long run allows for them to naturally grow into becoming well-mannered individuals. Starting at the bottom is oftentimes a more effective strategy to teach your kids good manners. 

Acknowledge Your Child

Once you’ve taught good manners at home, taking your kids out to public places can help them practice what they have learned in the real world. Children can behave a certain way at home and can be either shy or loud when they are around others. Acknowledging them in public places impresses the importance of proper behavior whenever they are around other people. Children also like to get involved in social interactions you make. When speaking to other people, make it a point to still connect with your child by keeping them close and looking at them every now and then. Making them feel acknowledged minimizes the likelihood of them acting out to get your attention in social situations. 

These are a few of the basics, and we’re sure there are a bunch of other ways to teach kids good manners.

If you’re looking to raise a well-mannered child in a safe, loving Christian environment, Cornerstone Learning Center offers the best childhood learning experience that promotes good values and set your child on the path for future learning success. Find out more at Cornerstone Learning Center.