Although sometimes in today’s society it seems like they are, grace and courtesy are not a lost art. My kids still say yes ma’am, yes sir, please, thank you, and may I please. My sons hold the door for me when we walk in or out of somewhere, and my youngest opens the car door for me. Respect and politeness go a long way. These values were ingrained in them from very early on in life. Montessori education will do that.
Montessori does not just teach math and reading. It teaches so much more. Montessori education educates the whole child.
One of the first areas in which a child will work in a Montessori classroom is the Practical Life area. Practical Life is exactly what it sounds like: lessons the child will use in everyday life. Grace and Courtesy is an extension of the Practical Life curriculum.
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This week, in the Montessori Monday series, we are discussing lessons in Grace and Courtesy (a super fancy way of saying ‘How to Teach Your Child Manners’). I have invited my friend, Surbhi, from Pretty Mumma Says to give us a lesson on Grace and Courtesy: 5 Golden Phrases All Children Must Learn.
Without further delay – here is Surbhi’s Grace and Courtesy lesson:
When it comes to developing social etiquette, social skills and social manners in children, there is actually no right age. However, laying a strong foundation for developing your child into a well behaved adult should start right from the age they start speaking words like “Please” and “Thank You”. These are 2 of the 5 golden words that help your child reaching out for help and showing gratitude. Positive gestures provide warmth to the relationships at home and outside. When you teach your child to treat others with respect, it will not only make things easier for them but will also pay in the long run.
In order to bring out the best in your kids, you must teach them these 5 golden words:
- Please – Teach your child the importance of saying “please” when they are asking someone for something or to do something for them. Your child will understand that it’s alright to reach out for help. However, you should also explain your child that saying please over and over again is not polite at all.
- Thank You! – Teach your child the importance of expressing gratitude. Ask your child to say thank you every time someone does something for him, pays a compliment or gives a gift. You must make your child understand that respecting others results in receiving respect themselves.
- I’m sorry! – It is very important for your child to understand when and how to ask for forgiveness. Children in younger age usually don’t like to apologize because they either don’t understand that they have done a mistake or don’t want to accept their mistake. However, never push your child too hard for an instant apology. Instead, take a deep breath and amicably explain to your child the repercussions of his actions. Once you and your child have calmed down, ask your child to say sorry politely.
- Excuse me! – Excuse me has different uses in different situations. One such occasion is when your child interrupts a conversation. Educate your child to say “excuse me” politely between the conversation and when allowed, he should say what he has to. This will help your child to communicate effectively in the given time frame. It will also develop his faster thinking ability and comprehension.
- You’re welcome! – Modeling is the most effective way for parents to help their children to extend their new social skills beyond home or classroom. Use the same simple, polite phrases at every opportunity. You should always respond with “you’re welcome” whenever your child or any other member in the house thanks you for anything. Using and teaching polite words and phrases to your child will build an environment of mutual respect within which your child will thrive.
Your children look up to you and model your behavior. Practice what you preach. Your children will learn well and faster when you also demonstrate good manners repetitively. Rather than forcing the good manners and finding faults at their early or incomplete efforts, choose another opportunity on another day to correct, reiterate and emphasize. Don’t forget to praise your child’s efforts.
Remember that children need a lot of repetition. Teaching manners right from the time your child starts speaking and reinforcing their use will insure that your child takes these important social skills into adulthood.
About Surbhi Mahobia:
Surbhi is married to a social media honcho who is an absolute sweetheart and a great father; mumma to two little children, and a blogger who loves chocolates and her coffee without sugar. She is based in New Delhi, India. She gave up her corporate career to stay at home to take care of her kids and family. She is a movie buff and an avid reader at the same time. She is also associated with well renowned parenting websites and work as freelance content consultant, product reviewer and blogger for them.
If you would like more information on the Montessori Method and how to implement it at home, please see the following resources:
Montessori Monday – An Introduction to Montessori
Montessori Monday – Tips for Beginners on How to Implement the Montessori Method at Home
Have you implemented Montessori at home? I would love to hear how you use the Montessori Method in your life. What is your favorite part of Montessori? What would you like to see in the Montessori Monday series next? Leave a comment below and let me know!