10 Ways to Teach Kids Common Courtesy

June 11th, 2011 by admin

Although, many forms of courtesy seem to be slipping out of modern day society, the basic, common courtesies still remain the standard of civilized society. Part of the reason for this being the fact that, small courtesies still demonstrate respect and thereby encourage civil interaction between human beings. If you want your kids to be a positive influence on societ,. to learn to treat all others with mutual respect, you will want to teach them the protocols of common courtesy.

  1. Role Model – The first step in teaching children anything is always to model it yourself. Kids quickly pick up the actions and manners of their parents if they see them consistently modeled in front of them.
  2. Role Playing – This is another good way to teach specific courtesies, especially when the kids will be encountering a new social situation. Role play the situation with the children. Demonstrate how to politely greet people they will encounter and practice it with them. Do the same for table manners, especially if they will be attending a more formal dinner occasion.
  3. Books – There are lots of great books written for small children that teach manners and common courtesies in a story form. Don’t just read the stories, but talk with your kids about how they should apply the lessons in their own lives.
  4. Videos – Many of your kids favorite video characters will have DVD’s that teach life lessons for kids; courtesy and manners are usually included as a part of these life lessons.
  5. Educational television – Educational programming on television also is a good source for your kids to learn common courtesies. You don’t have to wait for programs specifically focused on that issue. On any program that your kids are watching, you can point out when the characters are being courteous and when they are not to help reinforce what you are teaching at home.
  6. Tea parties – Tea parties are a fun way to teach children how to use their courtesy training. Girls especially enjoy acting ‘grownup’ and mimicking their parent’s polite behavior.
  7. Captain, May I – This old childhood game helps teach children the difference between politely asking, ‘May I’ do something and just doing it without asking permission first.
  8. Correction – Gentle correction of your children as they learn these courtesy lessons will help reinforce them, as well. ‘What do you say?’ has been used as the reminder by many parents to help their children to remember to use their please and thank yous, when appropriate.
  9. Basic instruction – Simply telling your children what the rules of courtesy are, is a good starting place. Explain to them when they should say ‘Excuse me’ and teach them offer preference to older people who may move slower than they do.
  10. Family table – Teach table manners at the family table that you expect your children to use when they are at a restaurant or the guests at someone else’s home. If they are used to behaving with the same courtesies in their everyday life, they will not have any trouble carrying them over to other situations.

Courtesy towards others always encourages courtesy towards yourself, as well. It is important that a household set their own standards of proper courtesy and not let current society determine it for them.

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