Hi again and welcome to another Pram Jam post. Without lecturing, guilt tripping or otherwise starting any parenting arguments, today we are going to talk about manners. Not the “which of the seven forks on the left is the correct one to use with the fish course” kind of manners, or even the “don’t sneeze in your hand and then wipe it on the back of your friend’s jumper” kind of manners – I mean first steps in manners.
When you strip them back to their core, manners are really about coming to understand that the world is full of other people (and living things) and that they also have their own wants and needs, opinions and feelings, and that your own wants, etc. do not always come first – that to be fair to everyone, we have to learn all sorts of valuable skills like: waiting our turn – not interrupting; saying “please” and “thank you”; sharing; not doing or saying things to others you would not like done/said to you; and so on.
There are several good “concepts” board book series on positive behaviour to start us off on the road to good manners. They include:
Cheeky monkey manners by Lisa Kerr
And by Karen Katz …
Once we have some basic concepts on the go we can start to read some titles that cleverly weave manners into the very stories themselves.
Elephantantrum! / Gillian Shields
“Ellie has everything, but she wants more. She wants an elephant. And she won’t eat or sleep or brush her hair until she gets one! But when she finally gets her wish, the elephant decides to teach Ellie a thing or two about manners”
Cowboys can be kind / Timothy Knapman
“A playground troublemaker learns to be kind in this humorous rhyming story.”
Stories that demonstrate actions and their consequences – and then suitable remedies – are great for answering the inevitable “but why?” question you’ll get when you are trying to explain to child number one why hitting child number two over the head with that sand bucket is not okay, no matter how much fun child number one is having – the “because … ” answer has got to be a good one!
Now don’t forget, parents and care givers, that we have a large Family & Parenting section in our Adult Non Fiction collection where you’ll find all manner of helpful advice for every stage and aspect of bringing up your little ones. You’re welcome!
But, sadly, we’ve reached the end of the post and it’s time to say farewell. Until next time …
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