I have two silly and very curious preschoolers at home with me. My son is four and my daughter is three years old. They have always been very different in their own ways. One is very bossy but loving, and the other is shy but has a very short temper. One thing they both know is how important it is to have manners and be considerate of others.
I believe there are certain manners every preschooler should know, and this definitely comes from experience. While I don’t think I am a strict parent, I do try to be a fair one.
During our last trip to California, I received many compliments about the way my kids behaved in public. They tend to be quiet in public until they get comfortable. I do have to say my constant nagging of minding our manners is probably the reason why.
Lately, however, I’ve had to deal with the heartbreak of a sad, angry, crying kid. There have been several occasions where I’ve noticed that not all kids have manners. Not even the simplest of manners. While I know everyone parents differently, I feel it’s important that manners be consistent.
Here are 8 manners every preschooler should know:
Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze 1 of 8It's important to explain that we don't want to spread germs. Also, that it's not very nice to cough or sneeze on others. Encourage washing hands after sneezing, too.
Don’t talk with your mouth full 2 of 8It's not nice to show everyone your food all chewed up. No one wants to see that. It's not only gross, but can cause you to choke.
Say excuse me 3 of 8Using "excuse me" when you need another person's attention is the respectful thing to do, especially when they are busy. When we need to pass in front of another person at a store, we also practice saying "excuse me."
Respect others’ property 4 of 8We must respect others' property and belongings whether we are at home, in school or in public. This includes no jumping over areas or gates we don't belong in. It can also be touching things that aren't ours. We need to ask for permission.
Say Please & Thank you 5 of 8When my kids ask for anything, they know they must say "please." Whenever they receive something, even if they didn't ask for it, they say "thank you."
Share with others 6 of 8Sharing our belongings with others is playing nice. My kids fight over toys sometimes, but eventually one will ask "Will you please share with me?" This usually works, and the other shares.
Use your inside voice 7 of 8Kids at this age need to know when they are speaking too loudly. Some places, like the library, don't allow loud voices or screaming. Play a game of outside/ inside voice to learn the difference.
Wait your turn 8 of 8Waiting your turn helps you learn patience. When we visit the park, we have to wait our turn for the swings. We also practice waiting our turn when we play video games at home. It gives everyone a fair chance to enjoy the same thing.
I know if my kids didn’t have manners or if I didn’t enforce them, they would be in a lot of trouble, especially after starting school. Not only would they be mean to others, but no one would want to play with them either. Who knows what type of path this could lead them on in life, too. It’s important to me for my kids to be respectful, caring and considerate of others. I believe it is our responsibility as parents to teach our kids the proper manners.
Do you encourage manners with your kids?
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican