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manners/politeness and 3-4 year olds

(6 Posts)
rhetorician Fri 21-Sep-12 17:36:17

dd1 is 3.7, a bit naughty, but mostly fairly good with lots of nagging She is up to speed on please and thank you and thank you for having me, and knows that she should ask for things in people's houses as opposed to helping herself at home. But I think we need to move her manners along to the next stage - e.g. saying hello and how are you when people visit, and the basics of respecting other people's wishes. Problem is she is still fully at egocentric toddler stage, and not really able to empathize in that way. Any tips? Obviously I can teach her what the forms of politeness are, but it's harder to get across that rules differ in other people's houses etc. How do/did you do it?

I'm not particularly concerned, just conscious that she isn't fully aware of what is expected, even though she is quite good with the basics.

flussymummy Fri 21-Sep-12 18:45:16

Hello! I always insist on "Excuse me" if initiating a conversation with a grown-up, we try to use " Mr and Mrs" rather than first names with older adults, my children know not to ask for food or drinks other than water and are taught not to interrupt. Really struggling with the last one though as DD1 talks for Britain! I tend to remind them of the rules as we go into a new setting so that they know what is expected of them (in theory!)

StateofConfusion Fri 21-Sep-12 18:48:40

My dd is 3.10 and other than please, thank you etc I've taught excuse me then waiting to speak. I think hello how are you is a bit much and unecessary at her age tbh. But we don't really socialise with anyone she can embarass me in front of so its not something I've thought about.

<Worries>

Iggly Fri 21-Sep-12 18:50:54

Sounds silly but can you model the behaviour? That's how we got ds saying please/thank you. He's also learning to take turns so we apply it to conversation eg I'll say I'm talking and it's nearly his turn etc? He's only 2.11 though.

flussymummy Fri 21-Sep-12 19:02:57

Iggly- I agree- we all try to talk to each other the way that we expect the wee ones to talk to others- seems to work quite well so far. I wouldn't expect "How are you?" yet either as I think it might sound a little contrived - after all, as you said, they are still at a very ego-centric stage at this age.

rhetorician Fri 21-Sep-12 19:58:17

yes, you are probably right about 'how are you?'; she is quite good at excuse me, but need to get her to use it when people are speaking. We do try and model the manners we'd like to see - we don't socialize much at all so she wouldn't be very used to anything other than very informal situations. She is good at taking turns, so that should be easy enough to apply. Useful to get some perspective! thank you

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