Toddler manners: ways to behave, and not to behave!

Mum and toddler

Toddler manners (or the lack of them!) are enough to drive any parent round the bend.

We all know that toddlers are prone to tantrums – and this is perfectly normal. Usually, toddler defiance is shown not to make you angry on purpose, but to test their own limits and gauge your reactions.

At the same time, it never hurt anyone to be polite, right? This holds true for even the most tantrum-prone toddler, and that is why toddler manners are a good thing to teach.

Here are some clever ways to teach these adorable little people some good manners.

Remember the basics

Start with teaching them to say "please" or "thank you" when they are starting to speak. This can be somewhere after your little one turns a year old. Getting them into a habit early in life will be far more effective than you think.

You can also ask them to join you at the dinner table. Because kids are like little sponges at this age, your toddler will see how the rest of the family interacts during meal-time. And without his knowledge, he will absorb all of this information.

During this process, he will come to understand certain components of etiquette and manners, like sitting in one place for a set amount of time, and saying "please" when you want something.

Inspire them by being a role model

Mums, remember that your toddler loves emulating you and your partner. So if you want your child to be polite, then you have to be polite yourself.

Set examples for them that are simple, like saying "excuse me," "thank you" and "sorry." When kids get to hear courteous words, that’s what they will pick up. If you have older children, remind them to watch their manners too, especially when their little toddler brother or sister is around.

Ensure that you are setting reasonable goals

While you are at it, also remember not to go overboard with your expectations. It’s important to set reasonable, achievable goals for your child.

Remember that they will not listen and obey you all the time... and this is fine. Give them the space to backslide while ensuring that you stay dedicated to your cause of teaching toddler manners.

Toddler manners when your child is with other kids

Once your child starts mingling with other kids, it may be good to teach them sharing. Most kids have quarreled over sharing their toys. 

Here are few tips to help your child effortlessly interact with other toddlers.

Understand that your kids are not going to like sharing their things unless they are taught about it.

Put some rules in place. For example, allow everyone to take turns with a favorite toy. As long as the toy is not getting damaged, let them decide how they want to play with it.

In case of kids breaking rules, give warnings. And if they don’t listen, simply end the playtime.

If your child has an exceptionally favorite toy, it's wiser to just put it away during playtime with other tots, in order to prevent huge meltdowns.

Mum, don’t forget to also praise your little one when they are doing good. Praise and encouragement go a long way, especially when it comes from mummy and daddy!

Source: Ask Dr. Sears

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