Showing posts with label Manners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manners. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 19

HOW TO: teach gratitude

An important lesson while growing up is learning to demonstrate gratitude and thankfulness. In a culture of instant gratification, it is important to foster an attitude of gratitude in your child. Studies show that children who engage in grateful behavior have more energy, demonstrate enthusiasm for school, and carry more positive paradigms overall. Here are several tips and activities to engage your child in the concept of gratitude:

  1. Be Intentional - Practice gratitude in your own daily life and lead by example when interacting with your spouse, children, and other adults. Modeling the type of behavior you want from your child is the best way to encourage him or her to follow your lead.
  1. Be Charitable - Show your children what it feels like to be a gracious giver. Encourage your child to clean out his or her room and donate any unneeded items to a local homeless shelter or church organization. Explaining to your child the purpose behind donating items to those who really need them is a great eye-opening exercise in gracious giving.
  2. Be Acknowledging - Encourage your child to acknowledge all that they have been given by frequently discussing what you’re thankful for. Stating that you are grateful for a nice meal cooked by your spouse, time spent with loved ones, money to purchase a new item for the family, etc. will plant a seed of thankfulness as your child begins to identify specific things for which to be grateful.
  1. Be Responsive - Teach your child to respond appropriately to others’ kindness by encouraging him or her to frequently say “Thank you.” Keep a stash of thank-you notes at home and have your child thank others after a gift or service has been given. Grandparents will love getting a handwritten card in the mail after sending a grandchild’s birthday present. Thank-you cards are also great for teachers, coaches, etc. to demonstrate gratitude for their time and commitment. Also see FAIRMONT FIVE: Teaching Good Manners for more etiquette tips.      

Gratitude equates to a positive attitude and optimistic outlook on life. “When kids recognize that the things they own and the opportunities they have come from someone other than themselves, it helps them develop a healthy understanding of how interdependent we all are - and they may be more inclined to treat others with genuine respect,” says Huffington Post article titled 11 Tips for Instilling True Gratitude in Your Kids.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Gratitude Habit
Videos by Greater Good Science Center, University of California - Berkeley

Wednesday, July 22

FAIRMONT FIVE: teaching good manners

All parents want their children to be well-behaved in social settings. The best way to help your child succeed in this area is to teach him or her proper etiquette and manners. Encouraging courteous behavior will help ensure your child respects peers and authority figures such as teachers and coaches.

Understandably so, “kids will be kids.” However, teaching them that there is an appropriate time and place for proper manners is important. Below is a list of five essential manners and ideas for encouraging each:

  1. “Please” and “Thank you” - Teaching children to say “Please” and “Thank you” before and after receiving something is no easy feat. However, by incorporating these words when talking to your child, he or she will being to see the pattern and corresponding reaction. When your child asks for something and does not use the “magic words,” remind them of “Please” and “Thank you.” Wait until they have asked correctly to give the reward. Also, do not forget “Excuse me” and “Sorry.”
  2. Proper Table Manners - When you child forgets to say “Excuse me” after a burp, or begins to chew with his or her mouth open, gently remind the child of the proper behavior. Being a model of good table manners is one of the best ways for children to learn how to behave while eating.
  3. Turn Off Electronics - Today’s children are tied to technology. There is a time and place for technology, but Christmas dinner at a relative’s house is not it. Let your child know that there are times to play on the iPhone, and that there are times to engage in conversation with others.
  4. Telephone Etiquette - Children listen to adults take calls all the time and will be a quick study when learning how to answer the telephone. When your child becomes old enough to take phone calls, provide opportunities to practice a friendly phone demure.
  5. Spreading Kindness - Letting your child know that it’s important to demonstrate kindness to everyone is an important step. Opening doors for others, saying “Please” and “Thank you,” and using polite words are all simple ways that children - and adults - can show kindness to others.

Being conscientious of others lies at the root of all societal manners and etiquette. When we are conscious of the feelings and preferences of others, we demonstrate respect for those around us. The most effective approach to instill good manners in your child is by being an example of proper etiquette yourself. Cultivating good manners takes time, but the rewards of a respectful, well-behaved child are endless.

For more tips and ideas about teaching manners, check out these great articles:

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools 

Image by