Circle Time Circle Time
Readers Share - June 1998

Encouraging Good Manners
In our June 1998 issue we asked: Do you have an amusing story about your child's manners? How do you teach your children good manners? What special lessons or techniques do you use?
Ann Marie Hickey shared this anecdote about encouraging good manners by acknowledging that accidents sometimes happen:
I was once in a restaurant, my daughter now 8 was then 3. We were sitting at the table when she spilt her soda. My husband turned three shades of red with embarassment. I turned to my daughter, who sat there not knowing what to do, and assured her that accidents happen to everyone, as the spill was purely an acccident. She had not been fooling or careless, it was simply an accident. On the way out the manager asked to see me, I was stunned! To my surprise he complimented me on how well behaved my daughter was! I believe by accepting and acknowledging accidents for accidents, and pointing out the difference between carelessness and such, a child learns the difference between proper manners and fooling. I also remind them when they forget proper manners (I am now the mother of 3). Ultimately I believe that actions are a better barometer of a person than words so I teach by doing. Needless to say, my children have no problem reminding me when I fail to use proper etiquette and (!!!) forget my manners.
Read some reviews of kids' books about manners:
Mind Your Manners - everyday etiquette for everyday kids
Back to Circle Time e-zine Volume 1, Number 4 -- July 1998
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