Two Can Learn Better than One!

Tags: manners

Please, Thank You and other Manners!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting , Tags: manners, please, polite, thank you

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It's so lovely to hear children talk politely, it isn't hard to teach them a few basic manners even when they are little.  Here are a few reminders of some manners we could share with our children. The best way is to lead by example, so try to stick to these rules yourself too!

  1. Say please and thank you.
  2. Do not interrupt when adults are talking. Say, "excuse me" and wait for their attention.
  3. Do not share family secrets or delight in telling tales in public.
  4. Ask permission, don't just assume its okay to do what you like.
  5. Don't make observations about other people (e.g. big nose, funny hair etc). Keep opinions to your self - unless they are complements!
  6. Answer when someone talks to you and make eye contact.
  7. Say thank you after a party or a tea play date.
  8. Ask for things to be passed down the table rather than reach.
  9. Don't make fun of someone else or say you won't be their friend for some reason.
  10. If you accidentally bump someone, say sorry.
  11. Don't use unkind words or ugly words.
  12. Don't laugh at another child's efforts or attempts at doing something.
  13. Don't pick your nose.
  14. If a parent or teachers asks for help, offer it and do the task willingly.
  15. Use cutlery not fingers for meal times.
  16. Use a napkin not your sleeve to wipe your mouth after meals and a tissue for your nose!
  17. Knock on closed doors and wait for an answer.

Thank you for reading... and good luck!

Eating Out Should Be Fun!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Days out, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: children, dining, eating out, manners, restaurants, table

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Going out to dinner with your children needn't leave you with indigestion; before we had children, many of us used to watch in horror as parents struggled with their children, shouting at them to sit down and force-feeding them with food they refused to eat. Perhaps worse, we watched as they just let the children run riot in the restaurant and did nothing!

You don't need to turn into one of those embarrassed parents when it comes to taking your children, however little, out to dine. If you take the time to follow a few tips, you will be the proudest parent as they sit and eat nicely.

So make it easy on them (and you!) by bearing in mind these pointers:

  • Choose an appropriate restaurant especially if its your first time out.
  • Make sure there is a menufor the kids.
  • Take along any special juice cups, or small cutlery if this will make it easier and more familiar for your little one.
  • Take along plastic plates if you fear the restaurant crockery may end up on the floor!  Plastic is quieter and less likely to draw attention if it falls and it will not result in a stroppy waiter having to clear up broken china.
  • Check there is something that your child likes on the menu before you book.
  • Try not to use a restaurant as a place to experiment with new flavours - unless your child is used to this.
  • Don't eat too late or arrive at the time when your child usually eats. Bare in mind it may take some tome to get a table, settle quickly and have the food ordered and served.  Although being hungry is useful, you don't want them screaming for sustenance! So, eat early to avoid any meltdowns!
  • Take colouring books/crayons (that don't stain so no felt pens!) to amuse them. Draw your dinner, or the waiter's face! Even use paper napkins if you like.
  • Take some small toys (that sit neatly on a table) in case there is a wait.
  • Request a corner or edge table rather than one right in the middle of the room so as not to draw attention to yourselves.
  • Ask for plenty of napkins ready to mop up any spills or dribbles!
  • When you are seated, hand over any wine glasses, ornamental candles or anything that could cause your little one to reach and pull...just in case!
  • Try and visit the toilet before you start eating so you avoid interrupting your meal.
  • Don't stay too long and push them too far! If they are used to a quick meal, don't expect them to languish for hours!
  • Have a test run! If you are out for an important meal, then have a test run in a coffee shop or supermarket café before hand. Get used to the idea of waiting, of sitting and of eating in a strange place.
  • Don't be too hard on them, but make it clear you expect them to behave.


Lead by Example!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting , Tags: behaviour, house rules, manners, parenting

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Children learn from their surroundings, and are informed by the people the interact with, parents, teachers and carers - make sure that your children are being given a model example because otherwise they will pick up traits and habits that you don't like!

Table manners present a host of unwritten rules that we want children to abide by: remain seated until everyone has finished; finish all the food on your plate; no toys at the table; eat with your cutlery; arms and elbows off the table.  You may wish to impress some or all of these rules but whatever your stance, make sure that you follow them yourself.  Your children won't understand if they aren't allowed toys at the table but that you use your mobile phone at the table.  Why should they eat everything on their plate if you don't finish everything on yours?  Why should they remain seated if you disappear mid-meal to make a phone call, start washing the dishes or take on another chore?

This illustrates just how easy it is to contradict yourself, and can is mirrored in many other areas of a young toddlers life!   Be aware of such contradictions in any regimented environment where we expect our children to conform to rules or manners, and especially to the language that we use and the ways in which we address others.  If we lead by example then our children will naturally follow.

House Rules Apply!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting , Tags: behaviour, house rules, manners, parenting

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It may seem draconian to institute 'house rules', but if children are expected to behave in certain ways, you have to let them know what the rules are! House rules are those simple rules that ask your family to comply in certain ways, such as always taking shoes off when you get home, washing your hands before meals, remaining at the dinner table until you have finished your meal, keeping your bedroom tidy and so on.

When teaching your children the discipline you wish them to follow, you need to state your rules clearly. There's no need to write them down, indeed, young children won't be able to read them even if you do! But giving clear guidance as to what they should or should not be doing makes it easier for your children to learn and abide by your rules.

House rules might be based on manners or good behaviour; growing children learn by knowing what the rules are or where boundaries lie. Once they have a clear set of rules in mind, their broader behaviour will also be guided by these principles. Many rules will be obvious and simply reinforce good behaviour, you may have your own quirky rules that other parents might not apply; there's no harm in that at all, but do ensure that you apply any such rules consistently in your own home.

It is quite legitimate that parents be exempted from rules - children must learn that adults enjoy privileges that they one day will also grow into. However, if the rules don't apply to yourself or other adults in your home, then make sure that your children are aware of this so that they don't see non-compliance from adults as a green light to ignore rules themselves!

Out to Lunch!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Family, Days out, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: eating out, food, manners, restaurants

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Children deserve to experience going out to eat, if that is what you want for them. You have every right to take them into a restaurant and never feel embarrassed in doing so, as long as its a place that welcome's welcomes children.

However, going out to lunch or dinner may fill some parents with dread: how would their little ones behave in public? But, be bold, follow the few tips below and they may surprise you!

  1. Take a few small toys to entertain while you wait. Don't necessarily buy new, perhaps find a few buried in a draw that you haven't seen for a while.
  2. Go to a restaurant that has a child menu. Then you won't feel uncomfortable because if there's a child's menu, they welcome children and you have every right to be there!
  3. Make sure the venue has all the facilities you need: baby change, etc.
  4. Ask for what you need, don't hesitate, as the staff will be happy to help if it means a more smooth meal! Lots of napkins, teaspoons to eat with, a straw to drink with etc.
  5. Order the children's meal to come first. They can start eating straight away even if your meal is not ready. In fact, order all your meals as quickly as you can so the wait for you all is not too long.
  6. For little ones that may be super hungry, bring a couple of snacks or finger foods to keep them going. If you have none, ask the a little bread or raw vegetables while you wait.
  7. Eat at the approximate time you'd normally eat so your routine is not too mixed up.
  8. If you have a newborn, don't be shy about feeding at the table if you can do it discretely, or asking for bottles to be warmed.
  9. If you book a table make sure you reserve a high chair if you need it a tell the restaurant you'll have little ones. They may reserve a larger area for you.
  10. Have a practice at home: set up a restaurant and pretend one day at home!
  11. Have a trial run. Go to a coffee shop and just have coffee and a muffin one morning. See how that goes.
  12. Explain what you expect from your children if they are a bit older, and tell them what it will be like so they are more prepared.
  13. Choose something from the menu that they will eat rather than be adventurous. You want them to eat, after all!
  14. Start them young. Don't put off going out if you want to because you think your baby is too little.

Be bold!   Bon appetite!



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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