While children are born with some innate abilities, being friendly, polite, and courteous are often taught behaviours. Children achieve these positive behaviours if they are aware of their actions and how they affect other people.
While it seems like an impossible or difficult task to teach children how their behaviour can affect others, experts argue that children are naturally inclined to attempt to please their parents. So, when parents routinely make their expectations known to children, they internalize those expectations and try to behave the way they’ve been taught to, while expecting the same from others.
Here are some ideas to encourage well mannered behaviour for your child while at school:
Allowing children to do whatever they feel like and get anything they ask for causes them to act out when their demands are not met, even by other people. To avoid this, it is important to set well-defined boundaries so they can learn how to identify limits, self-regulate, and respect boundaries.
When you set rules, provide some simple reasons or explanations why you expect them to behave in a certain way to increase compliance. For instance, you can ask your child to always put away toys to ensure that they are safe and secure for the next time they want to play. When they follow the rules, always make a point of praising them and celebrating those successes, so they practice positive behaviour.
Experts argue that children believe they should always be the centre of attention, which is why they don’t see any problem with refusing to share an item or taking another child’s toy for themselves. You should help your children understand the emotions and feelings of other people, and how their actions can hurt or annoy others.
One of the best ways to activate your child’s empathy is by posing questions that cause them to raise their awareness level. For instance, you can ask a child who likes to grab other people’s items how they think the other person feels when something dear to them is grabbed.
While at it, teach them to read body language – interpret facial expressions and gestures, as well as how to be patient and to make decisions.
You can’t teach your child well mannered behaviour in a single day or night – and you cannot expect them to act rationally at all times. So, be a good role model and continue to emphasize empathy, patience, decision making, and boundaries. Soon they will be able to realize and correct their own behaviours before you point them out.