Helping Your Charges Develop Good Manners
Manners and etiquette include a large measure of personal preferences and can vary greatly from family to family. Most Moms and Dads want their children to have manners, but teaching them can be a frustrating process.
Consistency is important, so talk to your charges’ parents and see what they are doing to encourage manners. Once you have an idea of which manners are important to them and what they are doing with their children, you can focus on these manners together, and your efforts will be consistent with your charges’ parents’ efforts as well.
If possible, meet with the parents and make a list of manners that you would like to work on. Focusing on a few manners at a time usually is most successful with children. For instance, you can work on saying “please” and “thank you,” using a napkin at mealtimes and looking someone in the eye when being introduced and saying “hello.” While you will have to remind the children at first, hopefully these manners become second nature. Try to recognize them when they do something without asking and praise them for it.
Once they have mastered a few, add a few new ones. Keep the parents up-to-date on their progress as well. Manners go a long way in life and your charges will eventually thank you for taking the time to teach them!