Manners don’t always come naturally to children. In fact, most of the time they don’t. But that doesn’t mean your child can’t or won’t ever learn manners! It just might take a little more work than you think, but that’s okay! We have a few tips that are perfect for you and your young ones. These tips make it easier and more fun for your kids to learn manners and become civilized tiny humans. Keep reading to find out ways you can teach your kids manners at a young age.
If you’re trying to tell your kids to shake someone’s hand in public, odds are they don’t really want to or they’ll forget next time. Preaching manners to kids hardly ever sticks the first time…or the second, third, fourth, etc., but making manners more exciting by adding story elements means your kids are more likely to remember and enjoy manners. For example, you might want your child to greet someone new with a handshake, but your child asks you, “Why?” A fun story answer could be the following: “You extend your hand for a handshake to show you’re not hiding a weapon! Or at least that’s what knights did back then in the medieval times.”
Another example would be taking hats off at the dinner table. With a similar premise, you could explain that knights used to take their helmets or visors off at dinner to show whether they were friends or foes. Get creative with your stories and your kids will be excited to practice their manners like knights in the old days!
It’s no secret that some people learn music very well, and sometimes, they remember things better when they’re put to a song! This is a great way to teach your kids about manners. It’s fun for them, and it will help them remember their manners better than if you were just telling them what to do and what not to do. You might even hear those songs more than you intended to, but hey! At least they’re learning!
If you’re planning on going out to dinner soon to a sit-down place, and you’re curious if your kids have caught onto the manners you’ve been trying to teach them, play “restaurant!” You can suggest the idea to your children and help them along the way. All of you can pretend you’re going out to eat, and play as though it’s a real place. Use real dishes, glasses, napkins, food, and maybe even dress up to make it more realistic and fun for the kids! Set a few basic rules such as chewing with your mouth closed, not talking with your mouth full, and saying “please” and “thank you” when being served. Once everyone at the table follows the rules successfully, you win! What do you win? Dinner at a fun restaurant…and dessert!
If you’re finding manners to be a difficult concept at home, don’t worry! They don’t always come naturally, but these activities or extracurricular programs like those at Heritage Learning Center can help! Sometimes, all it takes is being in a social environment outside the home. If you’ve been thinking about trying this approach, contact Heritage Learning Center today! We’d love to help you find a program that fits your children’s needs perfectly that they’ll love.