Begin to develop your children's social skills at a very young age. This is one of your most important jobs as a parent.
Remember: Kids copy everything we do and say. Even the toddlers begin to take on our behaviors,
Teach them their "magic words" from the time they are beginning to talk. Be sure to use the words when you respond to them as well. We all need to hear "Please", "Thank you", "You're Welcome", and "Excuse Me". It shows value and respect for the other person.
Teach your children what is appropriate to say about other people in public. Model this in the way that you speak about others. Remember, they are always listening.
Teaching your little ones how to greet adults is very important in developing their respect. Teach them to make eye contact and practice answers to basic questions that the adult might ask them.
Begin teaching table manners early. Make family dinner time a priority several times a week, if possible. Make a game out of who keeps their elbows off the table and who is first to put their napkin in their lap. The more consistent you are at home, the better behaved they will be out in a restaurant.
Teach them not to interrupt. With little ones, this is difficult because you are actually teaching them patience. Help them with a cue that tells them it is their turn to talk. However, value their role in the conversation. Model this behavior by making eye contact with them at their level and asking for them to take part in the conversation. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Quips and Quotes
"A person's a person, noi matter how small." - Dr. Suess
"Good manners: The noise you don't make when you're eating soup." - Bennett Cerf
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." - Franklin P. Jones
"A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to." - Harold Hulbert
"Children need models more than they need critics" - Joseph Joubert
"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." - Jerry Seinfeld
Kids Say the Funniest Things
"Grandma is so good with kids! Why doesn't she have any of her own?!"
"Nice pants Mommy. Why are you wearing them out in public?"
Definition: tactful, adj 1. skillful in saying and doing what is most proper.