Guest post by Ken Myers
When it comes to habits, our little ones learn from our actions as parents. If we want our children to exhibit the mannerisms and attitudes we value, we need to start teaching them early. Children are susceptible to input from a very early age and guiding them is our job to help promote a brighter future.
With all of the habits and manners we wish to teach our little ones, which ones are more important to focus on? Here are 4 habits to teach your children starting today.
1. Please and Thank You
Teaching a child “please” and “thank you” is one of the most popular habits parents try to integrate into everyday life. It is a simple concept to teach, as long as you continuously practice this yourself. Any time a child requests an item, teach them to say “please.” Once they acquire something, teach them to say “thank you.” It may take a year or two before the children begin saying it without being prompted to do so, but it’s a habit worth investing your time in and leads to broader concepts of manners and respect for others. You can even begin with pre-verbal babies using sign language.
Teaching your children to be clean from the very beginning can help you immensely as kids grow. Instead of cleaning the child’s room for them, allow the child to do it him or herself while you “assist.” They need to understand that although you will help them clean up the mess, they are responsible for their own room. While this may start out as a way to keep their room from spilling toys out into the hallway, it can be a precursor to accepting responsibility for their own actions.
It’s OK to help your child with a task, but they will learn more from the experience if they accomplish success on their own. This can be as small as making their own bowl of cereal for the first time. You don’t want to let go of the reigns entirely, but allow them to make their own mistakes and learn. Self-reliance doesn’t have to mean that the child takes care of him or herself without your input, it just means that they can rely on themselves to provide answers to questions as a method to begin discovering who they are.
Honesty can be a very difficult aspect to teach if you don’t practice it yourself. A child needs to learn that honesty is held in high regards as opposed to disciplinary action from lying. This means your emphasis needs to be on how honesty can be its own reward and help reduce the problems that lying can create. However, you also need to teach that honesty can be brutal without a method of tactfulness. Without being mindful of the situation and surrounding circumstances, honesty can be perceived as hurtful.
There are many things you want your children to learn as they grow and beginning with these 4 habits. It is up to you, as the parent, to guide them to becoming the best person he or she can be. Time will fly past you quicker than you realize and before long, your children will be determining which college they wish to attend. Guide your children to finding their greatest potential and help them live life to its fullest and appreciate those around them. Your children are your legacy to the world.
About the Author:
Ken Myers is an expert advisor on in-home care & related family safety issues to many websites and groups. He is a regular contributor to Go Nannies.com. You can get in touch with him at email@example.com.