As parents, we can only hope that our constant nagging of say please, thank you, excuse me will be remembered when our children are away from home. I know at my house with a 2- and 5-year-old I feel like a broken record with the “whatya say” phrase.
Last Sunday we received a wonderful compliment that reassured my husband and me that we are doing something right — at church of all places. We attended the 9 0’clock church service, while our kids went to the church nursery. It’s better for all of us: the kids have fun playing and reading bible stories, while my husband and I can sit peacefully and listen to the service without having to answer the same question a hundred times: “Can we go yet?”
When we went to pick the kids up from the nursery, the nursery director couldn’t praise our oldest son enough. She said “He couldn’t help pick up toys enough, help wipe down tables enough and his manners were super”. I smiled, said thank you and thought to myself, “are they praising the same child that was just grounded a week ago for a tantrum large enough to cause world war three?”
So what’s the secret? According to childcareaware.org it’s practice. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Do you want your child to feel relaxed and self-confident? Expect the best at home! Manners take practice, and unless a child practices at home, he’ll have a hard time holding his fork correctly, for example, when he’s out. And, unless manners are second-nature for a child, he’ll feel self-conscious and uncomfortable trying to use them in public.