Do you have an Alexa? It’s a virtual assistant which tries its best to do whatever you ask it. It works by using voice recognition technology and you might give it a command like this: ‘Alexa, what’s the weather going to be like today?’
So, why am I talking about Alexa in a blog about education? Well, you can now get yours to encourage your children to be polite. The feature, known as Magic Word, rewards children who say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ by responding with phrases such as ‘Thanks for asking so nicely,’ or ‘You’re welcome’.
For those of us who don’t have virtual assistants, how can we raise polite, well-mannered children? As any parent will tell you, it’s not that easy! But don’t worry if you are struggling – here are a few tips courtesy of Education Matters:
It’s never too early to start teaching manners. With young children patience is key. Physical and social skills are still being developed and toddlers learn best by example. Make sure you always say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ when appropriate and encourage your child to say ‘Excuse me’ after burps or trumps or ‘I’m sorry’ for little accidents.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your child’s social interactions. Encourage them to share their toys and keep their hands to themselves. If you spot any bad habits (snatching toys from others or hitting them) you can nip these in the bud.
Once a child has started school then they’ll need to be able to listen attentively to others. Make sure your child waits until someone has finished speaking before they say something – interruption is very rude. The best way to do this is to be a good listener yourself. If you don’t listen when your child speaks why should they listen to you?
Older children should be more polite through experience but there are a few things they generally pick up after they’re 7. One is having respect for other people’s property. Make sure they know the rules when it comes to privacy too. Tell them they need to ask before they take or touch something which does not belong to them. Another thing they should now grasp is fair play. Make sure they don’t cheat at games – especially if playing with younger children.
Finally, we come to teenagers. They’re know for being rude but make sure they know you don’t tolerate this. It’s all about respect – for them and for others. Listen to your child politely and expect the same in return. Give them their privacy but also make sure they give their full attention during family time, such as dinner – no mobile phones at the table! Punctuality is important too. If they know that being late is disrespectful then they should be more reliable. And finally, encourage them to help other. Doing good deeds is not only polite – it also makes you feel great!
There are lots of decisions you have to make as a parent, so any help is always welcome! That’s where EQ’s Knowledge Bank comes in. It’s a resource which aims to answer any questions parents might have. And not only do we offer tips and advice on all aspects of parenting, like raising confident children or finding suitable activities for the school holidays, we also have loads on information on schools and education. Why not take a look?