Since my children could talk, we’ve taught them to use “please, thank you, yes ma’am,” etc. For us, manners are little things that make a big difference in getting along together, both at home and in public.
We also taught them sign language and were amazed that they learned and understood the concept of “waiting” by about 13 months old.
As soon as my littles are old enough to put toys inside buckets, I make cleaning up a game where they imitate me putting the toys away.
Aside from praying, I think these are some of the most important things I try to teach my kids. There are times I fall short or don’t show them a good example – whether it’s not speaking nicely to someone in the family or simply being impatient. But this past week really showed me that training my children to respect others, use manners, and be polite is yielding fruit that they can use the rest of their lives.
We were one of the many families affected by the recent storms and power outages. By the third day, the kids were miserable and so was I! Fortunately, we have family that was thrilled to have us visit and ready for the four kids and me to descend upon them within a few hours (my husband stayed home with our pets- I married a great guy!). We had a fun visit with all of the family and I got to see some great qualities in my kids. The fact that my kids understand waiting (mostly patiently) made the trip so much easier- whether it was the plane ride or just having to wait to get something they wanted. I was also incredibly grateful that I only had to remind them a couple of times to use their manners. Being polite and being thankful are so important to teach our kids. So many people are rude and ungrateful that it is refreshing to see manners being used, especially when it comes to kids interacting with adults. I have found that people are more forgiving and understanding of the occasional toddler meltdown when the child is pleasant more often than not!
Lastly, the kids not only helped clean up their messes while we were at other people’s houses, but they help at home. Sometimes I forget to include the kids in the general house cleaning, but the job goes so much faster when we all work together! The older one does jobs that the littles can’t do and the little ones help clean things at their level. They love to help clean windows, floors, baseboards, etc. We worked together this morning and inside of 15 minutes, the downstairs had been dusted, vacuumed, mopped and the windows cleaned.
So, Mothers, this is just a little encouragement to keep on instilling these habits in your children. It is an amazing blessing to see the fruits of your hard work and training in your kids- especially when they come out in the middle of a stressful time. The time you invest in your children on a daily basis will truly be beneficial in the long run!
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ” Proverbs 22:6
By: Michelle Frantz