Teaching Manners Can Be Fun

With the start of a Manners Boot Camp for children at my office this summer, there is a lot of talk about teaching manners in fun ways. I also have a live Online Workshop tomorrow on Teaching Manners through http://www.askdrrene.com/.

There are a few games for teaching manners like “Mother, May I.” We add “Mother, May I, Please.” The exchange before moving is, “Mother, May I please take 2 steps?” “Yes, you may.” “Thank you.” “Your welcome.” After each four phrase exchange the child moves and the next player asks.

Start a “Manners Jar.” First, talk with your children for a week about manners such as saying, “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and, “I’m sorry.” Discuss table manners each night at dinner. Teach how to introduce themselves to others and how to answer and speak on the phone. Read a storybook about manners each night at bedtime. Starting the second week see how often you can catch other family members remembering their manners. Each time someon is polite, put a pom-pom or a marble in your Manners Jar. See if you can fill it in a week, OR measure your progress by seeing if you can earn more the second week than the first. If you want to tie a reward to filling the jar, be sure to make it manners related (a positive logical consequence). This would be saying, “we’ll go to a fancy restaurant for dessert and practice our newly learned table manners.”

Start a Manners Journal. Each night at dinner talk about something someone in the family did that day that was polite or practicing good manners. Write it down in the journal with their name at the top of the page.

Play board games that teach manners such as The Picnic Basket Manners Game by Noodleboro, The Blunders game of Manners by Successful Kids or Don’t Pick Your Nose by Bambini.

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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