Now Enrolling Summer Adventures!

Blog

Adorable toddlers playing with colorful toys
MCCA
Back

Teaching Manners to Toddlers

Those with experience in child care in Silver Spring, MD, know a 2-year-old will never learn to chew with their mouth shut. However, we also know that they might learn a lot if you focus on teaching them manners—the idea that there are right and wrong ways to act. Your child has been learning this lesson for a while now as they push the limits and see how you react. The earlier you teach them manners, the faster they’ll understand and the less they’ll fight it when you start giving them specifics.

It might seem silly to tell your kiddo, who is always on the go, to say “excuse me” before running off from the table. But if you show your toddler how to be polite, they will finally learn it, too.

At What Age Should a Child Learn Manners?

You want to start teaching your child to be polite as early as a year old. You want to focus on words rather than actions at this young age. When children are between three and six years old, you can start teaching them how to be nice. A child of this age typically spends time with other children of the same age at a Silver Spring child care center.

How do you Teach Toddler Manners?

Your little one has been learning the right and wrong ways to behave. Think about all the times they pushed your limits and watched how you reacted as they learned how to get along with other people.

They probably won’t understand what sharing means until they are about three years old. They might not really understand how to be nice and wait their turn until they are four or five years old. But if you talk about manners a lot and early on, they’ll understand faster when you get more specific.

Here are some specific things you can do to teach your toddler manners.

Happy mother playing with baby boy

Focus on the Basics

Any parent trying to teach their child proper manners will usually start with teaching them to say “please” and “thank you.” You can start as soon as your child speaks, which is usually after their first birthday

It will take some time before they remember to always say please and thank you. However, you’ll probably find yourself automatically reminding them as soon as they begin to talk. Using questions like “What do you say?” or “What’s the magic word?”

Try not to be overly demanding. It’s not something your toddler will always remember or desire to do. However, over time, they will come to remember to say thank you and please more often than she does. Make sure to consistently give your toddler praise when she remembers since this will help her learn the reaction on her own.

Let Them Eat with You

The family table serves as the ideal learning environment for lifelong manners teachings. This is the reason it’s critical to, at the very least, occasionally set the table with silverware and napkins and spend time eating together rather than grabbing a bite in front of the TV. Toddlers will never learn the correct way to use a fork (or chew with their mouths closed) if they aren’t given the opportunity to attempt. Sure, they will still frequently eat with their fingers and wipe their lips on their sleeves.

Polite Playdates

The majority of toddler arguments begin with toys being shared, which seems like an absurd request to make of them. You won’t become a saint, but you will be doing your child a favor if you begin educating them early that they can’t take all the toys when other kids are present, whether at home, daycare, or preschool.

Establish basic guidelines that all parties can adhere to. No one shoves, hits, or slurs others. Everyone takes turns using a toy if it’s one that they all want to play with. If a toy isn’t being destroyed or broken, nobody tells anybody else how to play with it.

If any of the kids misbehave, they receive a warning. The play date has to stop if nobody pays attention. You’ll be doing your child a favor and encouraging other kids to play with your toddler if you teach them to share.

Model Good Manners

It might seem apparent, but being courteous yourself is necessary if you want a polite youngster. But let’s be honest—there are instances when it’s easier said than done. To establish a positive example for your child, practice what you preach. You are the most important role model for your child.

All your toddler wants is to look like their parents. Say “Excuse me” and use their name if your partner is standing in front of the refrigerator when you need to open it. Your child will employ courteous language on her own if she grows accustomed to hearing it around the house.

Group of toddlers playing with red wagon.

Positive Reinforcement

Notice and praise good manners, but don’t pay attention to bad ones. It’s hard to pay attention to your baby when they have their mouth open and are chewing, but pay attention to how they say “please” when they ask for more of something. And commend them by saying, “Well done for asking for another serving by saying “please”!”

Polite Greetings

Your two-year-old can learn to say “hello” when they arrive for visits or meet new people, as well as “goodbye” when it’s time to leave. When it comes to it, they’ll be wildly inconsistent, saying “Hello” with such sweetness one moment, then breaking down in tears or becoming timid the next. Overall, it’s a good idea to teach these greetings since they set the stage for more sophisticated exchanges like “Nice to meet you” and handshakes.

Final Thoughts

Everyone wants their kids to be liked and admired by other people. Learning, showing, and teaching good manners are skills that last a lifetime. Be patient with your child as they grow up. Kids attending a Silver Spring daycare are just starting to understand how others feel and that the world has a lot of complicated routines. Young kids in school are still learning the difference between being rude and being over the top. It can take years to get really good at social skills. Parents will be proud of their kids’ behavior if they do their best most of the time and expect the best from them while being gentle with them.

267 0