After teaching our kids what it means to have nice manners and demonstrating it for them every day, the next best thing is to reinforce these lessons with games and books.
If you ask any child if they want to learn about manners and social skills they will most likely say, “NO!” However, we know how critical it is for children to have nice manners and confident social skills.
Having good social skills will help them make friends, do better in school, and to get a job and be promoted throughout their career.
So… it’s our job to teach them manners and social skills whether they want to learn them or not.
1. Talk to your kids about WHY they need to have nice manners.
Telling a child why something is important will help them know that you are doing it for their own good, and that you didn’t just make this stuff up! I’m not saying that kids will really care, but at least they know why we care.
2. SHOW them what to do to have nice manners.
This means show them what they need to do to have nice table manners, confident introductions, polite guest skills, etc. If a child isn’t taught the proper way to do something, you cannot expect them to do it!
If you are unsure about what to teach your kids, watch videos yourself or with your kids so that you will learn together.
3. READ children’s books about manners.
There are many good books on manners at the library or to purchase. One of my personal favorites for older girls is the one from American Girl called, “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Manners.”
4. PLAY games with your kids to teach them manners.
There are many game apps on manners that you can download and have your children play on their own, but I do think it’s best to play a game about manners and social skills WITH your kids so that you can have discussions about why things are important and explain things to them that they need to really understand.
5. WATCH videos.
I remember Barney had a good video when I was little, but I am sure there are others ones on the market that you can show your children. Children love to watch movies so why not have it be an educational one?
6. BE CONSISTENT and RELENTLESS.
Keep reinforcing polite manners with your children until they automatically do things like shake hands with adults when they meet them, immediately put their napkin in their lap when they sit down to eat, and tell parents when leaving after a play date, “Thank you for having me over.”
Our kids will be on their own way too soon and so we must make sure they are prepared to go out into the world a polite and well-mannered person so that they will have more opportunities in life.