Good Parenting: Ways To Teach Your Child Good Values and Manners
- Manners, morals, and ethics are the pillars around which an individual builds their personality and character.
- The development of these values begins within the first four years of life.
- A variety of environmental factors influence the way morals and ethics develop.
- Taking into account these factors while raising your child counts as good parenting.
Manners maketh man. This saying holds true for every generation that has or is yet to inhabit the Earth. Having good manners and good values in life will set you apart from the crowd.
It is often seen that manners, morals, and ethics are the pillars around which an individual builds their personality and character. And the development of these values begins at a very early age. Experts believe that the development of key values starts within the first four years of life.
Whether it is table manners or the correct way to speak with someone, basic etiquette is an ode to good parenting. A variety of environmental factors influence the way morals and ethics develop. Taking into account these factors while raising your child counts as good parenting.
Now to answer your question, how to instill good values in your child? Here are some tips on how to teach your kid the importance of moral values and give your child the best environment possible to grow in.
How to instill good values in your child
Respect And Responsibility Begins At Home
As a parent you want your child to be responsible and respectful to their peers. Since they spend all of their time at home, most toddlers pick up their behavior and habits from their parents.
1. Include them in chores
Including your toddler in daily chores will give him or her a sense of responsibility. Take time out of your schedule to involve your toddler in the responsibilities of the house. Have them tidy up their toys and room while you do the same with the house.
2. Keep family time separate
Children tend to pick up on the love and affection that is shown to them. Spending quality time with your family, such as reading a bedtime story or playing a game together helps build a bond with your children. Also, your toddler will learn to appreciate and reciprocate the kindness and affection that you give them.
3. Accept your mistakes
To err is human. You might get angry at your toddler when he or she acts out. Children are quite perceptive and pick up such behavior pretty quickly. If you ever do get mad, try apologizing to your child and show them that you mean it. Furthermore, also correct their mistake by showing how they should act.
4. Strike a conversation
Try asking your child about their day or try talking about some of his or her interests. Doing so shows that you care and take a genuine interest in your child’s well-being. In the long run, such habits will aid in the development of kindness and respect.
The power of compassion and gratitude
Compassion and gratitude are very powerful traits that a person can have. With the world getting more and more practical, most people don’t have the time or inclination to check up on their near and dear ones.
While that is understandable, such behavior can draw a wedge between friends and family. Giving your children a dose of kindness early on in their lives will help them grow into kind-hearted individuals. Here are a few tips and tricks to plant the seeds of compassion and gratitude in their behavior:
1. Be comfortable with uncomfortable conversations
Your children may witness unkind acts like racism or sexism in daily life too. It may be during a stroll in the park with you or at their kindergarten. When such acts occur, don’t shy away from talking to them about it. Try understanding their thoughts on the matter and help guide them in differentiating the right from the wrong.
2. Daily acts of gratitude
Make your kid say thanks before their meals or have them give a kind greeting to people in the park. Such habits go a long way in developing gratitude that will help your child cross all the hurdles he or she will face in the future.
3. Prioritize family time
We are not talking about the time you spend with each other. Try taking time out of your schedule to check up on your siblings and immediate family. This will not only improve bonding within your family but also shows your toddler that you care about one another.
A class in anger management
As you probably have experienced by now, toddlers are highly susceptible to temper tantrums and outbursts of rage. Experts believe that children under the age of 4 can have up to nine temper tantrums per week.
Your toddler will throw a temper tantrum in response to some frustration that they are feeling. Since toddlers can’t express their emotions in words they resort to such outbursts. Although such frustrations can strike at any time, there are certain factors that trigger them.
Here are a few things that might trigger your little one.
- A change in environment can make your toddler feel restless
- Hunger can also make your little one agitated which results in a temper tantrum
- They are not being given enough attention and love
Here is a guide to managing temper tantrums positively:
- The first thing to remember is never getting angry yourself. Losing your cool will only result in more fear, frustration, and crying.
- Try distracting them with a book or a toy. This trick works best when your child starts throwing a temper tantrum. It might not be effective when they have their full rage mode on.
- Pick up your child and coddle him or her in their time of need. The love language of touch is often all you need to calm their temper tantrum
- As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Try making funny faces or impressions which your toddler adores. This might help in calming them down.
Even if these tricks don’t work, toddlers tend to calm down by themselves. You just have to help them positively express their frustrations. Children, in most cases, outgrow this phase with proper help and guidance.
Teach your child table manners
It's common knowledge that a one-year-old will have little to no table manners. And it is all right. It is only when they complete three years that toddlers start to grasp the concept of table etiquette. Hence, start with small lessons. They may seem insignificant at first but will make a difference.
Here are a few etiquettes and table manners that you can start with.
- Start with the basics. Help your toddler wash their hands before they sit at the dining table. Doing so continuously will make this a habit.
- Most children by the age of three start using spoons, knives, and forks. Help them use these crockeries correctly.
- Make sure you start meals together. Encourage your toddler to start their meals only when everyone has been served.
- Almost all toddlers use their shirts or sleeves to wipe off any food stuck around their mouths. Encourage them to use napkins instead and keep themselves clean while eating.
- Most toddlers tend to gobble up food and chew with their mouths open. Encourage your little ones to eat with their mouths closed and chew slowly.
- Encourage them to sit while they have their food.
As they slowly age, try them teaching more table manners and etiquette.
Teach them how to express themselves
Despite all the manners and etiquette you try to teach, your toddler will act out at some point throughout your journey of parenting. Here are a few tricks you can use to calm down your little one.
- Make them spend energy in a productive way. Have a family dance session or play some games with your toddler.
- Draw them a bath. Hot water baths are shown to have a soothing effect on muscles and help calm the nerves. Drawing your little one a bath helps with this hyperactivity
- Hug your toddler tight. Sometimes all they need is some love and affection.
Raising a child is tough, both physically and mentally. You need to be patient with them. This is one of the golden rules of good parenting. The same goes the teaching good manners and the importance of moral value to kids.
There are many ways to teach your child good values. The key is patience. They most likely will not show any changes in their behavior for quite some time. Only when they start to grow and mature will you notice the fruits of your efforts. So, be patient with your child and try a few of the pieces of advice given on how to instill good values in your child.
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- Dahl A et al. A developmental perspective on the origins of morality in infancy and early childhood. Frontiers in Psychology. 2018:1736.
- Raising Caring, Respectful, Ethical Children. Available from: GSE Harvard
- Anger, Irritability and Aggression in Kids. Available from: Yale medicine
- Goto Y et al. Physical and mental effects of bathing: a randomized intervention study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018 Oct;