Today I would like to discuss the importance of manners for young children. Having moved to the US from the UK, I noticed a vast cultural difference. In the UK and Europe children are taught manners from a very young age. As soon as children are talking, manners are introduced. This is something I explain to the families also. Children having gratitude and using "please" and "thank you" is such a great life lesson for them. I also teach children how to resolve conflicts, and helping them to understand emotions, why they are feeling them and how to channel them.
I have the strong notion that as children grow and realize that being kind and using Grace and Courtesy in their everyday life, their life can become so positive and less struggle. If they can understand their emotions and navigate communication with others even in difficult conversations. Even in conflicts!
I feel that as a nation we need to move away from the view that "children are not old enough to understand" or that "oh they are only 2!". Children are much smarter than we think, we just need to instill that confidence and trust in them!
Repetition is key! Being a role model to young children! Children will only learn what they see. Using positive and encouraging language can also help them to follow by example. Also! Manners cost nothing! By teaching children how to be kind and polite, how to conduct themselves;holding the door for someone, sharing with someone, comforting someone who is upset; we can build a more positive future/society!
Author: Terri L K Fleming, BA(hons)Ed, MSc.Ed, Parent Educator, Montessori Teacher, Doula and Newborn Care Specialist.