Saying please, thank you, I’m sorry and excuse me/may i be excused are staples for having a considerate toddler and little person. Around here, we call them “nice words”. We also have “nice voice”, “gentle hands” and a time out spot. 🙂 Life with toddlers is never boring and rarely quiet unless something is going on that probably should not be.
In order to successfully teach your toddler nice words, you MUST use them ,too. All. The. Time. Say please and thank you to your spouse, the grocery bagger, the salesperson from whose calling list you ask to be removed, etc. Let your little one hear you using your manners. Imitation is how toddlers learn. Use your nice words with your toddler. “Pick up your toys, please”, “please sit down”, “thank you for giving that half chewed whatever to mommy”, etc.
Gently remind your toddler to use their nice words if they forget. Sometimes tactile reminders help with especially young children. I am linking to Lifeprint.com, an excellent ASL resource that is free and online for some helpful manners signs for toddlers. (I will come back and put up an embedded video, but my videographer has been working crazy hours for a week and a half and I’m video-challenged on my own. I love you sweetheart!) Remember to include the use of these signs when you use your nice words, too!
Remember to be patient and praise, praise, praise your toddler when they use their nice words and manners! The more they realize how happy it makes you and how pleasant it makes things for them, the more they will automatically remember to be mannerly.