Teaching toddlers manners and politeness can be one of the most tasking roles as a Parent. This is the age where they look forward to pretending they don't understand you so they can get away with murder. No intentions of listening what so ever in order to test your resolve. It is important you have tenacity and endurance when administering correction, to make sure that we are teaching them from a young age to have manner and be polite. Let’s be honest we all have days that our children drive us insane, they want to throw things, you give them something they just grab it and run or if you don’t give them what they want they throw a tantrum.
Some may find it cute however there comes a certain point the behaviour needs to be addressed in a way they'll understand what's right and wrong. With children you need to be stern but delicate in order to avoiding scaring them away from you but however maintaining the boundaries respect. If the behaviour is not addressed you unconsciously give then the hand of authority. You'll find yourself in a position of constant submission for the sake of peace; giving then a big platform to nurture those negative characteristics into adulthood.
So how do you avoid it?
We start by nipping it in the bud from the get go. Now is the time to teach them the values and ethics we want them to have when they are older, teaching them right from wrong. Yes, everyone has their diverse ways of bring up their children but I believe we can all unanimously agree that ‘please’ and ‘thank you' are a mandated necessity for our children. The earlier we teach then these the better for the world. You know there's a saying, "society fails because family failed". It is our jobs as parents to teach our children and encourage them to develop a strong moral sense, whether you are a single parent or not. We all have the sane responsibility and that’s to give our children the best upbringing and by this we give society the best. These are our future leaders we are raising so we need to do our best to get it right. None of us really want a Donald Trump on our hands, though I wouldn't mind the money side of things, lol.
One of the first forms of teaching is by leading by example. Children tend to learn rapidly via visual representation over verbal. I mean, you can't give what you won’t have so how can you expect good behaviour when you don't display it yourself. We need to be cautious of them in everything we do with assuring of setting a good example. We can’t expect them to have good behaviour when you aren’t practicing that yourself. They look at how we interact and treat others and also observe everything you do. If you want your child to be honest, kind, respectful, compassionate, generous etc show them those qualities yourself and they will pick up from that.
Growing up in an African house hold we don't really experience apologies from our parents because it's an 'abomination' to accept fault or being wrong. The parent must always remain in authoritative position no matter the circumstance. Well for me this parent doesn't work. I believe that everyone deserves respect no matter how old or young. Apologising to your child when you're wrong is not only building a positive relationship with them but also subliminally teaching them to be apologetic and have ownership for their mistakes rather than looking for an escape gate. This is you modelling how important it is to respect others and acknowledging their feelings are also of great importance as yours.
For those like me who rely on their Faith to also lend a hand in raising my children; reading the bible with your child will also help explore more morals and values. Gradually introducing them to God through the most relevant practical things in life. You can find studies regarding respect, gratitude and honesty. This will be great for them to see that it’s not just what you are saying but those values and morals came from God. Also following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. What you think May be the best form of discipline may not be and His directions will make this clear for you. Also never assume that your strategy for one child will work on the other. Take time to understand their individual characteristics and needs in or order to formulate the best forms of intervention for them individually in times of correction and praise. Teach them to be a person of integrity from young. Although they don’t really understand what it socially means, they will soon realise if they want something they have to say “please” otherwise mummy or daddy won’t give me it. And they will learn that “thank you” is how they need to end the interaction. As parents we have to make sure we plant these habits on our children at a young age. But it doesn’t just go one way it can’t just be the child saying “please” and “thank you” when we ask our children for something it is important to also say please and thank you. More it is imperative to teach your children to be ok with hearing a 'No' sometimes. Just because you said please doesn't mean you're going to get what you asked for. In their heads they've concluded that please is equals to a yes. We need to focus on these point of raising them, preparing for the no’s in life and not letting it knock them down neither throw a tantrum but to develops their spirit to greater and stronger heights with wisdom. Children are very observant so they'll want to imitate your characteristics and actions, there for make it one worth emulating by them.