Do you ever look at your toddler and wonder if their manners are on target for their age? I know that I do. I decided I needed to get a firm grasp on what the age appropriate manners for toddlers really are! It is a horrible feeling for me to expect my child to act a certain way and realize it wasn’t at all in their development to reach that goal.
Age Appropriate Manners for Toddlers
What is a toddler?
I thought I had better figure out what a toddler really is. I did some research and found out that a baby is from birth to one year old. Children are typically considered toddlers from age one to age three. Ages three to five are considered preschool age. So, now you know, HA!
Focus on the Most Basic Manners for Toddlers
I am going to be brutally honest with you here….I had to lower my expectations when my first child was a toddler. This helped us both be MUCH happier and more relaxed. The main age appropriate manner I wanted to see in my toddler was learning those magic words!!
- Teach toddlers to say PLEASE.
- Teach toddlers to say THANK YOU.
- Teach toddlers to say YOU’RE WELCOME.
- Teach toddlers to say I’M SORRY.
Yep, this is my main focus when my sweeties are between the ages of one and three. These are manners we can work on at home and out in public. Learning how to talk politely to others will set a great base for more manners as they grow older.
Other Manners to Introduce to Older Toddlers
When my little one is a tad bit older…2 years or so…I like to start working on a few more areas. I don’t STRESS out over these manners, but I think it is good to start teaching at this impressionable age.
- I teach my older toddler to say hello to people in appropriate situations.
- I start teaching my older toddler an appropriate way to get my attention when I am busy.
- I start working with my older toddler on sharing. (yes…I know…it is a big, hard, battle..but I am just that stubborn!)
Tips for Teaching Manners to Toddlers
Do I think teaching manners to toddlers is EASY? Heck, NO. Toddlers are wild and unpredictable little human beings. Unfortunately, I have been to the playground and have seen the results of parents who DON’T start teaching age appropriate manners to their toddlers. 🙂 Ya feel me, here? I am guessing you have been there, seen that, too. No fun for anyone. So, it is worth it to me to start working on manners from the get-go.
- Demonstrate, Demonstrate, Demonstrate (am I clear here….I have to DO what I want my toddler to do!)
- Gentle Reminders. I have to remember that I am teaching a very young child and gentle reminders are best for redirecting my little to good manners.
- Make manners fun! I love to read age appropriate books with my toddlers about manners. There are even some fun Youtube videos and games we play to reinforce what we are working on. Children always learn better when it is fun.
So what are you waiting for? Teaching age appropriate manners for toddlers doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. It is fun for me as a mom to see my toddler using the manners I teach! Score one for MOM! What manner do you think is the hardest to teach toddlers? Leave me a comment and let’s talk about it. Yes…seriously…I want to know! 🙂