Teach the Children Well
~ Joyce Fields
Even before they learn to read and write, children should be taught manners.
How do you teach manners to two-year-old children? By being polite to them. When appropriate, say “thank you,” “please,” and “excuse me” to them and, when appropriate, prompt those responses from the children. Praise them for being polite.
There are other things that are considered part of “manners.”
Children should be taught to greet other people when they enter a room; to not pass gas or pick their noses in the presence of others; to say “excuse me” when they burp or belch or when they accidentally step on someone else’s foot or bump into another person or otherwise violate someone else’s space; to say “good morning” and “good night.”
Good manners make for a more harmonious household, neighborhood, community, city, state, nation, world!
As parents or guardians, it is our job to teach children to stand on their own two feet. Don’t do for them things that they can do for themselves.
Two-year-old children are quite capable of picking up and putting away their own toys. (When my granddaughter, Medina, was 18 months old, I had her putting away her own toys.)
Three-year-old children are quite capable of learning to tie their own shoe laces.
And don’t forget chores. Children should have chores. Their parents/guardians should not be confused as their maids and butlers.
Five-year-old children are quite capable of sweeping a kitchen floor. Get a small broom. They can help with the dishes and the laundry and any other chores their parents/guardians think appropriate and safe.
Chores help to teach responsibility.
Children should not be allowed to have temper tantrums.
A tantrum is a display of impatience or dissatisfaction because they did not get their way.
The first time a child throws a tantrum should also be the last time.
Short of physical abuse, there are several ways to stop a tantrum:
- Ignore it. Leave the room. A tantrum needs an audience.
- With eyes of steel and a face set in cement, tell the child to stop it. You may have to say it more than once.
- Tell the child that you will take pleasures away.
- Make the child sit down or go to bed until the tantrum stops.
#1 worked for me. It happened once, then never again.
If none of these work, hopefully, you’ll find something that will. Just don’t allow the tantrum to be repeated.
Children must learn to be patient. They must learn that they will not always get their way.
How do you teach two- or three-year-old children to be patient?
You don’t rush to do things for them. You don’t hurry to give them cookies or other “treats.”
You teach them to wait.
You engage them in the lesson by saying something like, “You can play your video game in a little while. Just wait. And don’t say anything else about it or you won’t play it at all today. Do something else until then.” Or. . .“I’ll give you a cookie when I finish doing the dishes. Just wait. And don’t say anything else about it or you won’t get it.”
Then, you proceed to make them wait. But, don’t overdo it. Ten to 20 minutes is enough. And praise them for doing a good job of waiting when you let them play the game or give them the cookie.
They’ll learn to be patient.
If we teach children “The Golden Rule,” that would go a long way toward solving the problems of our world!!
Treat others the way that you would want to be treated. Very simple. Very easy. Very true. Very good.
Not only do we need to teach it to children, we all should dust off “The Golden Rule” and put it into action in our lives.
What do YOU think?
How do you teach children the lessons of “The Golden Rule”?
At around four or five years old, children can conceptualize and vocalize about being treated fairly or unfairly.
Deliberately treat “Little Johnny” fairly and ask him how it felt to be treated fairly. Ask him if he would like for his sister, brother, cousin, friend to be treated fairly. Ask him if he will treat them fairly. Ask him why. His response should make for an interesting conversation.
Deliberately treat “Little Susie” unfairly and ask her how it felt to be treated unfairly. Ask her if she would like for her sister, brother, cousin, friend to be treated unfairly. Ask her if she will treat them unfairly. Ask her why. Her response should make for an interesting conversation.
Continue with these lessons on a regular basis.
If we teach the children well, their lives will be easier and more fulfilling! And so will ours!!
This is an excerpt from my 48-page book, Mother’s Dozen: An Easy Recipe for Raising GREAT Kids!—available as an e-book for $1.99 (printed book is $7.99) at http://www.GoodShortBooks.com.
This book makes a wonderful addition to a baby shower gift!!
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