Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaching Your Child To Cross the Road

If you read this week’s “Ponderings” you know that I witnessed a near calamity recently. As parents we hope that our children make good choices and would never do something so stupid. Although we can’t guarantee that they will always use common sense, it is still our job to teach them strategies for safety and success as well as the rules of society and laws of the land.

There are some great resources for teaching your child to cross the road safely. Pedestrian laws vary from town to town, city to city so it’s important to know them, show them, and practice them with your child. Remember, by “show them” I mean model, model, model. If you say, “Always cross in a crosswalk,” and then jaywalk where your child can witness, all your parenting efforts are out the window.

As usual, the web is a fantastic resource for how-to information on teaching your child how to cross the road safely.  Click HERE, HERE, and HERE for some great links on how to teach your child pedestrian safety laws.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Politeness Pays

Politeness really pays. When children are sitting politely waiting for their balloon, I pick them first. The other day as I was feverishly making balloon animals for a dozen children, only one of them said thank you. The others just grabbed their balloon. Often when I’m clowning I have parents who prompt their child to use their polite words. To them I say, “Thank you!”

A well-mannered child doesn’t happen by accident. Teaching your child manners starts with you modeling good manners and then having her say please and thank you when she is able to say a few words. Most importantly, manners need to be practiced in order for them to be part of your child’s daily habits. Manners are an important part of civility and by using manners on a daily basis your home will be more peaceful. An added bonus is that when you are out in public your child is apt to be better behaved, earning you kudos as a good parent!

There are some great resources on the web for teaching manners to your child:
· The Etiquette Princess has a great book for young children.
· Sylvan Education has a page with lots of links for teaching manners.
· The ever popular Emily Post has a great site with lots of articles about manners.

Unfortunately what I see happening lately is that parents are not teaching their children manners and it is one more thing that the schools have to teach. This leaves less time for teaching the nitty-gritty academic subjects. As a result I am seeing an overall decline in intelligence and higher level thinking abilities. Is this what we want for our next generation?

Is your child polite?  Leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!