Every parent dreams of having a polite child that behaves nicely in all situations, but that just isn’t practical. No children are just born polite. They have to be taught. They have to be raised in an environment where politeness is expected. Here are some ways you can teach them.
1. Teach polite words – Even though your child may not understand the purpose of polite words like “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me,” they should get in the habit of saying them early. After the toddler years, they will learn about the graciousness these words imply. You can teach these words by saying them often and expecting them to be said. If they ask for a cup of milk, prompt them for a please until it becomes a habit.
2. Model good behavior – Children learn what you do, not so much what you say. If you tell them to be polite but rarely showcase it, you won’t get very far. Improve your manners with them and anyone in the room with them. You might have to exaggerate your politeness a bit so they pick up on it.
3. Create a household of respect – Politeness is rooted in respect. We have to encourage respect in our homes by instilling sensitivity and empathy. If children understand how rudeness and poor behavior affect other people, their politeness with be genuine (and you won’t have to push the lessons so hard).
4. Acknowledge your child – The best way to get your children to behave politely is to put them situations where they get to practice. There’s not a lot of polite conversation between toddlers, so they have to gain experience interacting with adults. Don’t send your child off when the adults are speaking. Allow them their turn to speak (even if their contributions are silly), or they will act out to gain someone’s attention. As they interact with adults, monitor their politeness.
5. Don’t be forceful – The point of language is to facilitate interaction. Don’t punish your child because he forgot to say “thank you.” Remind him to do it over and over until it becomes habit, but don’t make it a requirement to say polite words without prompting in order to participate in something.
6. Correct, correct, correct – You’re going to get tired of this, but it has to be done. When your child fails to use polite language, prompt for it. In the beginning, remind him “We say ‘thank you’ when someone helps us.” After a while, you’ll only have to ask, “Now what do we say?” after helping him. Keep your voice monotone and casual, not formal or accusatory.
Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family’s reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker’s daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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