Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Little miss (or mr.) manners

Pretend play or "role play" is a fantastic way for young children to learn manners. There are several ways to do this. For example, one of my pet peeves is that my children answer the phone with courtesy. Instead of letting them decide what "courtesy" means to them, I have set up a phrase for each situation they might encounter on the phone. Some of my children (the older ones) have adapted these phrases to their language, but the same rules apply (we're still working on the little kids, it's never perfect). My children must say, "Hello Ottley's, this is ________ speaking" when a person asks for someone else, the children say, "may I please ask who's calling?" when someone is unavailable, they say, "he/she is not available at the moment, may I take a message?". The way I "trained" them to say these things was kind of fun. I called my mother in law and asked her to call us while we practiced our phone manners. We discussed what was appropriate and what to say and then we practiced...a lot! But, first and foremost...

Helping others- we can teach our children at a very young age to help others. This often starts in the home as they help mom or dad. As they get older, it's important to teach them the value of lending help to others, whether they are friends or strangers. We must also teach them in this scary world (unfortunately) that they must look out for their safety first. It is still hard for me to pass a car on the side of the road where someone is obviously having car trouble, but I must do that for my own safety. This, however, does not prevent me from calling a local gas station or highway patrol if appropriate, so that this person who is stranded might receive the assistance needed. Teach your children to open doors for others, teach them to be polite and allow others to walk through a doorway first, especially ladies, teach them to stop in the parking lot (with others around) and help pick up the person's groceries that have spilled all over the asphalt. Our world is full of people who are passive, or simply do not care...it's never to late to learn compassion, and it can be learned.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Good thoughts. I linked to you today.