Tuesday, 23 April 2013

P and Q are for...................P's and Q's!


                                    How teaching children good manners can be beneficial

Yesterday, a government minister claimed that nurseries are failing to teach our children good manners. Elizabeth Truss also feels that children are not benefiting from settings where free play is the main focus of learning as there is "no sense of purpose". She feels settings should be doing more adult led activities. In fact, I was only talking to a couple of parents the other day who feel that a few more adult led activities would be more beneficial to their children instead of a whole session free playing.

Some parents feel quite strongly that the whole idea of free play is taking away a little of the respect and other values which children should be learning in preparation for school. Free play itself is another debate, but are our children really lacking in manners without a strong influence from our childcare settings?

Teaching manners is something I do feel very strongly about. I am sure I am not the only person who feels many young children are not as polite as many would like, spitting in the street, swearing at one another and making people feel uncomfortable. I for one hope that my daughter will not go down that path. I have been teaching her the basics of manners since a small baby, as many do by getting her to say "Ta" etc.

Now she is older, I like to instill many simple manners to which I was brought up doing. Asking to get down from the table, thanking people who have done something for her and sharing with others (which is a slightly more difficult one to tackle at times!) It is so nice when people comment to me about my daughters manners and how lovely it is to hear a polite child. I know something must have gone in as she has recently been telling me to say thankyou to her when she has done something and when I do she answers "You're welcome!"

Not only does it make you as a parent feel proud, it allows your child to feel proud of themselves too. I always praise her good manners and make her feel special because she has thought of someone else. This shows too, as she has been telling me that I am "very kind" for helping her to do things. This is great for her social skills too, as she will come across as very friendly and kind herself when she meets new friends in the playground. After all, it is always nicer to have a friend who thinks of others and is willing to share!

I am not saying my daughter is a saint, though. At the end of the day, she is still only 2 years old, and has a lot to learn. She still is rude to her Mum sometimes and can be to her peers too, but she is young and it can only be expected of a toddler! Even we adults do forget to say Please and Thankyou at times, I know I do and I am often thankful to my daughter for reminding me that I should say these words to her!

As for manners in the childcare setting, well I cannot talk for all settings, but I do believe a fair few promote good manners. My daughter has been known to come home with a sticker for saying "thankyou" from Pre school and the settings where I have worked have always been very good with promoting the use of manners and modelling them too. It is always important to be a good role model, and using manners to those you talk to yourself, even through conversations between other adults, can be picked up by the children in your care. Children learn by what they see and hear, so minding your P's and Q's can be very beneficial!

1 comment:

  1. Manners are something we totally pride ourselves in at our preschools. Feedback from schools when our children start are that they are great at using their manners. We feel it is so important and a lifelong skill. It is a part of everyday sessions and just good role modelling from practitioners.