I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but my baby boy (who’s almost two years old) has really good manners. It’s amazing, really, that a toddler of his age would have any manners. Somehow, though, he has what I consider to be great manners for a toddler and maybe even better manners than some older kids. At times, I think he uses his manners more often than his older sister (who’s almost seven years old). So, what type of manners does my toddler have and how did he learn them?
Though we didn’t take any specific steps to teach our toddler manners, he uses his manners appropriately almost all the time. Of course, there are times we have to remind him and even times that he refuses in typical toddler fashion, but I’d say that about 95% of the time, our toddler has exceptional manners. Let me give you some examples.
- Please: When he’s hungry or thirsty, he typically will walk me to the kitchen. If he doesn’t say what he’d like right away, I start trying to figure it out by going through the usual options. “Leche?” (That’s milk in Spanish.) “Yeh peese,” he’ll respond. That’s toddler language for “Yes, please.” Incredible, right? He’ll do this for just about any other food or item he wants.
- Thank you: Continuing with the example of food, once we provide him with the requested item, my baby boy will immediately respond with “Ank ooo.” That is toddler language for “Thank you.”
- Sorry: If my toddler accidentally bumps into me (or crashes after excitedly running my way), he will say, “Sowwy, mama.” Aside from the absolute heart-melting way he says it, I was baffled the first few times he did so.
- Bless you: Though not consistent, many times that my toddler hears one of us sneeze, he will tell us, “Bess ooo.” That is his way of saying, “Bless you.”
We were pretty surprised when our toddler started using his manners. Like I mentioned, we had not taken any steps at teaching him his manners, so it really caught us by surprise. I can only imagine that my toddler learned his manners from hearing us use them ourselves. It’s said that modeling is the best way to teach children. I suppose in hearing his older sister, his dad, and me say please, thank you, sorry, and the like, he picked up on the words and the appropriate situations for saying them.
How do you (or plan to) teach your toddler manners?
Image: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr