Silly Lilly Remembers her Manners

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Silly Lilly Remembers Her Manners

From the earliest years, let your children know that good manners not only earn them respect but that using the “magic words” often means you get what you want more quickly

Two and three year olds

A two or three year old is not really able to understand what manners really mean, but they can be taught to always say please, thank you, hello, good-bye and sorry as they ask for and do things.

What you can do

It’s never too early to teach manners. Be sure to reinforce children’s understanding that words like please, thank you and sorry really do have a kind of magic in making others more willing to give you what you want.

Four and five year olds

By the time children are four and five years old, they can begin to learn conventional phrases such as “May I go play now?” or “Could you please pass me the cheese?”

What you can do

Four and five year olds may need reminders about using the “magic words” but at this age you should be discussing the relationship between manners and showing respect. Continue to point out that using good manners often makes it easier and quicker to get or do what you want. At this stage, good manners should be an expectation that is clearly communicated to your children, and taught in a consistent manner. Be careful that you are providing a good model; you should help your child send thank you notes to grandparents for example.

Six and seven year olds

Six and seven year olds also need reminders about manners, but they should have an understanding of when manners are important and why to use them.

What you can do

By this age, children are able to see that showing respect for others extends into helpful behavior, such as clearing the table after dinner, setting the table, etc. You can talk about how some aspects of manners such as table manners may vary some and that expectations for certain routines of behavior including loudness or dress may vary from one setting to another.

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