Do you think children have manners by mistake? Do you ever wonder why kids don’t have manners? Maybe a look back to the early years can give us a clue.
Learning manners starts right from the beginning of life. As babies grow and become toddlers, they also begin to learn appropriate manners and behavior. They learn by watching how adults behave and often copy exactly what the grown ups do.
I remember when my daughter was just 2. I had always worked from home and often had to speak to clients on the telephone. We also had a dedicated telephone line in the house that was for my business. So of course when I answered the phone it was a very professional greeting. Different from how you might answer your home phone. One day my 2 year old was playing when I heard her say to her doll “quiet please, I need to speak to a customer”, then she proceeded to answer her phone in that professional work voice she has heard so often from me. This has been one of my favorite stories of her childhood.
The point of sharing my little story was to demonstrate how children learn from their observations of everyday life. Every child may have different versions of playing house based on their specific situations, but the importance remains the same. They are reinforcing social expectations. So it is crucial for adults to behave the way they would want their children to behave.
If you tend to yell or scream, act agitated all the time or just behave in an unfavorable way, chances are your child will behave the same way. When difficult situations come about, it is important to remain calm and focused, especially in the presence of a child because you want them to learn how to deal with such situations in that same calm and focused way.
My daughter, now 18 and in college, has a part time job as a receptionist. When I call her at work, I am very proud to hear her answer the phone in that professional, upbeat courteous manor.
So, the moral of the story – Mind your manners and they will too!