Due to children’s self-centered nature, we may sometimes have to remind them to wait until someone finished speaking before they speak..
Correcting them on action: children are not perfect and we are not helping them if we don’t correct them or we make it an habit to leave the whole correcting responsibility to our spouse. (See older post on correction). We should let our children know immediately if they’ve done something that constitute as bad manners. Take a moment to correct them, which may require you excusing yourself from a situation to speak with them privately.
The best way to learn is by making mistakes, and so by correcting children on the spot they can get a deeper appreciation of manners and how to apply them. For example, If you are having a conversation and a child interrupts you, gently point out that this is an inappropriate behaviour. If a child yells in public or neighborhood, insist that they lower their voice and let them know why this is because there may be people reading or enjoying lunch nearby or taking a nap. Also if a child drops waste on the floor, ensure that the child uses the waste bin that way you are teaching the child to appreciate cleanliness.
The method of correction is very important that is why it is good to always first consider the situation you are in, and if appropriate, move the child away to a more private area to explain your corrections. By correcting a child aggressively or in front of others can be a form of rudeness. Avoid yelling out at a child(ren) if they are in the wrong. Instead, ensure that you get close to the child, maybe even bending or squatting to their level to gain eye contact, and speak in a low and relaxed voice. Thou it could be very difficult especially when angry but it will make the child feel respected, dignified and that you genuinely want them to improve.
Watch what you say: Regardless of how we feel about anyone or the kind of opinion we have about somebody’s character, we shouldn’t pass judgement in front of our children. Talking ill about someone behind their back in presence of our children will only teach then to do same about their friends. Don’t hold strong opinions about a group or person, at least in front of your child.
Teach your child to judge a person by the content of their character and not be prejudiced. We shouldn’t call people mean names or make fun of anyone for any reason in presence of our children. I wrote a statement in one of my write-ups that when a child is wrong, we parents should check ourselves. Parenting is not just to give birth to children. Good parenting is accepting full responsibility for the total upbringing of our children knowing and accepting that it’s a God given assignment and it is a privilege. (Read introduction of Adorable parents)
Seek permission: When you have doubts about doing something, ask permission ﬁrst. When my son enter’s the car and wants to sit on the driver sit he will turn and say to me ” mummy…I want to drive” just to seek my permission before doing it. The other day at the living room, his cup of water was on the table, he walked up to me and said mommy…I want to drink water” then I asked him to carry his cup. While growing up till now, one of the things I detest most is someone talking something that belongs to me without asking. To me it is very rude.
Language preference: Never use foul language in your home environment. It is good to teach our children to appreciate decent words which will begin with us parents. We can’t totally control what our children hears but we can control what we want them to grow with.
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