MomTalk.com January 26, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Playdate Etiquette


By Jacqueline Mroz

Whenever Erika Leavitt catches her daughters misbehaving or forgetting to say please, she reminds them -- again and again and again. "I don't give them things unless they say please first," says the Basalt, Colo., mother of two.

That's exactly what parents need to do to teach their children social skills, according to Lisa Finan a mother of two in Montclair, N.J. and the owner of Courteous Child, which offers social skills classes to children. "Kids need to be constantly reminded to say please, thank you, and may I," says Finan.

One of the best times for children to practice good manners is during playdates, when they can see the consequences of their behavior -- good and bad -- firsthand. They learn that politeness is about showing respect for others, and that means all others, not just adults. And if they are held to the same standards of behavior with their friends as they are with their families, they learn that being polite is something we do everywhere, all the time. The only hitch is that parents have to be there to keep reminding them.

"Parents have to buy into teaching their kids good behavior; it's not something you can tick off a list," says Finan. "It has to be a lifestyle."
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Categories: Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers, Children,

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