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Teach Manners By Leading With Examples

Effective Ways To Approach Teaching Your Toddler Manners

Parents should begin teaching manners as soon as a child is born. Fortunately, "you will be working on manners all the time if you are leading by example," says Nanny Stella of the Fox-TV show, "Nanny 911." Use the words "please" and "thank you" habitually, and your child should learn to do the same. (While you're at it, don't forget "you're welcome.")

Try not to overwhelm your child with too many expectations. Once she says "please" and "thank you," then move on to table manners: no elbows on the table, sitting up straight, chewing with the mouth closed, and asking for food to be passed instead of reaching across the table for it.

Be aware of your child's limitations, for example, when they are learning to handle cutlery and cups because motor skills are still developing and spills happen. Praise them for what they are doing well.

An effective way to approach teaching your child manners is to introduce an element of fun. Make up silly songs and rhymes such as, "Freeze until you say 'please' " or "Bryan, Bryan, as you're able, there's no elbows on the table," Nanny Stella says. Start a sticker chart to reward your toddler; it'll help them see that good manners matter.

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