Monday, July 16, 2012

Teaching Young Children Manners

I remember my father always said, "Hey, no manners!" when we were young. What he wanted to say was, "Hey, please have some manners!" and his intent was to tell us that we had to be polite all the time. Well, so we all learned manners through his "no manners" comment, then we knew what we did was not socially right. This was the old-style teaching, but the intent is absolutely right to teach children manners. When we met our parents' friends at home or public places, we were trained to quickly address these elders "uncles" and "aunties" whether or not we had met them before. But I begin to see a shift in this for our next generation, it seems like the elders are greeting the younger generation first, and sometimes may not get a reciprocal response.

Manners have to be taught, which help a child, who eventually grows into an adult to be able to socialise well with others. Reminding children to greet helps them to develop a sense of respect for the elders.

Teaching manners also starts with the Parents' own manners. MODELLING effect takes great place here. Children learn from imitation. A family value of politeness is also instilled better in modelling after the adults than hearing the preaching. I was teaching the Kindermusik Baby class two weeks ago and talked with parents about how babies learn to speak ---- It is through imitation! Hence, if a baby lives in a family who always uses polite words with each other like please, thank you and may I, the baby's speech will naturally include these magic words.

Teaching manners is never too early, and should never end. In fact, it starts with the Parents as Kindermusik always says Parents are the First and Most Important Teacher for a child.

Below are some practical guides from BabyCentre for Teaching Manners. Hope these tips can help to shape a good-mannered next generation to maintain the world a beautiful place.