As your preschooler gets older, there are certain social niceties he can begin to observe and incorporate into his daily routine and outings. From washing his hands
without too much prompting or guidance to not having a temper tantrum
when something doesn't go his way, as your preschooler grows physically and age-wise
, he can also grow and develop socially and maturity-wise
. A good way to display his burgeoning growing-up-ness is through using manners both in outside social situations and at home. Whether he is learning to using "please" and "thank you" in the proper way or simply remembering holding the door for someone walking behind him, manners are a good way to be a contributing member of society. If your preschooler still doesn't quite understand manners or isn't using them with any consistency, no worries. Follow our guide to manners for kids and you'll soon have a little one that even Emily Post
would be proud of!
The easiest to remember (and forget) as well as the most prominent of etiquette rules, teaching your preschooler to say "please" and "thank you" is a great way to start your manners lessons. The best way to help your little one incorporate these "nice" words into their daily vocabulary is to set a great example and say them yourself. Other than that, simply explaining to your child the importance of using these words as well as letting them know when they encounter a situation when they should be used will help your child to say them regularly and properly.
Table manners are important because not only are they incredibly reflective on your preschooler both at home and in other social situations, they are a life skill that will carry on through adulthood. Again, this is an instance where setting a good example coupled with gentle corrections will go a long way to getting your preschooler to behave in a way that is appropriate. Patience is the key here as is focusing on what is important. Knowing which knife to use isn't a priority -- learning to chew with his mouth closed and not reaching across others for a dish is.
Once table manners are mastered inside the home, you it's time to venture to other places -- homes of relatives and friends and maybe even a restaurant. Dining out with your preschooler can be a lot of fun for both of you as well as a good learning experience for him. When he encounters new social situations he gets to practice new emerging skills -- manners for sure, but talking to others, taking turns, learning to be patient and more. Whether you choose to frequent a family-style, sit-down eatery or just a fast-food joint, restaurant table manners are something you'll want your preschooler to bring with him.
Who answers the phone in your house? If your preschooler has shown any interest in the telephone -- whether it is your landline or cell -- it might be a good time to review some basic protocols. Telephone manners are important for politeness sake of course, but also for safety reasons -- you don't want your little one to give away too much information (such as his name, address or who or who may not be at home) to someone you don't know. Even if you don't allow your preschooler to answer the phone, going over phone etiquette should be on your to-do list just in case he happens to pick it up anyway.