Practice at home. It is unrealistic for your child to just pick up the habit of good manners by telepathy. He or she needs to know what the rules are. Tell your child, put them in writing, and try including them in fun, playtime etiquette activities.
Take them out in public. Once you’ve taught and reinforced the manners rules at home, take your children out to casual restaurants, the library, the shopping mall, and other places where they can practice what they’ve learned.
Give him or her the words. There are 5 polite words and phrases that should be among the first in every child’s primary vocabulary. These should be used while speaking to babies, toddlers, and children. “Please,” “thank you,” “May I, “Excuse me,” and “No thank you,” should be required.
Give your youngster positive reinforcement. Children love praise, especially when it comes from a parent or someone they respect. Very often parents respond only to their children’s undesirable behavior, ignoring their victories and positive actions. This choice may actually have the reverse result. Children want attention any way they can get it, even if that means doing bad things. Encourage them when they are polite.
Be patient. It is true that most children are self-centered by nature. Every parent recognizes this very early in the parenting charge, and it’s up to you to turn this around. Teach them the importance of respecting other people’s feelings and needs. As they learn to listen more, speak less, esteem others, and humble themselves, their Golden Rule behavior will begin to shine forth.
Learn to coach. Many people are finding that they need someone to not only hold them accountable but to listen to their dreams, desires, and goals. Help your child to establish social goals that will better equip him or her for daily interpersonal communication and interaction. It is no secret that people don’t really like to be around others who are rude and obnoxious. No parent wants this for their child. Make a point to sit down and talk with them and listen to areas of struggle they may have when interacting with other people.
Teach table manners. Proper etiquette obviously includes table manners, so start teaching your children the basics from a very early age. Use age-appropriate lessons and reward them for following the rules.
Correct him or her on the spot. Very young children often times don’t realize what they are doing. For example, if you are speaking with a friend, your child might think it’s okay to interrupt you. Beg your friend’s pardon and let your child know that his or her interruption is inappropriate. Do this for any infraction your child commits. Make sure you use sensitivity in these types of situations. If you have an overly sensitive child, you might want to excuse yourself and speak with him or her privately.
Speak well. Speech habits are so important. Often parents may sabotage their children’s speech patterns by using language they don’t want their children to mimic. Again, this is an area in which you need to model the correct behavior. Unless you want your child to speak in a sloppy, slang-ridden way, be well-spoken yourself.
Lose the prejudices. Your children are going to model your biases. If you hold strong opinions about a particular group or person, you should not make this a public point. Teach your children to judge a person by their character and not their race, gender, religion, or nationality.