How do you teach social graces?
April 19, 2007 7:38am CST
One of the most challenging part of being a parent is to instill in our children social graces. How do you do it? What are your rules or guidelines? This incident happened in my son's school. He earned his reward for doing well for his spelling this week. So he choose a sheet of colorful heart shaped stickers. when i asked him why the choice, he said because he loves his friends. I was of course glad to hear this. The story went, he decided how many each person should have and which sticker they could have. After greeting his teachers and friends, he distributed ALL the stickers. Some has more hearts than others. The 2 teachers has 1 each. Then about 2 hours later, something happened. He took away the stickers from his friends' shirt because (according to my son) that friend was not being nice to him and did not allow him to play together. So what will the removing of privilege do? His friend cried for 20 minutes because he felt so hurt and rejected. I tried to explain to my son that it is not right to do that but when i think back, that's exactly what i did with him. Remove his privilege of watching TV, playing with LEGO or drawing when he refuses to do as per instruction. How do you teach social graces without having a double standard?
2 people like this
• United States
19 Apr 07
It is a difficult job, raising children these days. Add to that, the negative role models, and behavior they face every day, and trying to make the right descisions can be confusing for anyone. Although it seems an overwhelming task, it is one that we must consistently teach our children. I have a 2 1/2 year old, and we are just beginning to teach him about respecting other people and thier feelings, I know we obviously have a long way to go, as he is so young, and can only grasp so much, but we feel it is imperative that he learn to be kind to others. I suppose you could talk to your son, and ask him how he thought this made his friend feel? Discuss it with him in detail, and try to help him find other alternatives to deal with unpleasant behavior. One thing we have been trying to teach our son, is that not everyone is his friend. He loves other kids, and will often put up with them hitting and pushing him, just so he can play with them. WE are trying to show him, that just because someone is the same age, doesn't mean that they are a good friend. But it's hard, you have to find a balance, because even a great friend, can have a bad day. The other day at the park, an older girl (4 or 5 years old) came up to him and pushed him. He said "stop, you no push me, Okay?" it was cute, and it made me feel good that he was learning. Wow, sorry, I went off on a rabbit trail. I guess what I am trying to say is, that you just have to be consistent, and try to be a good example, and keep trying to instill those values in him. Watch what he's seeing on T.V., maybe he's watching something that is teaching what you don't want him to learn?
19 Apr 07
Hi wmaharper, thank you for your reply. It is overwhelming indeed! I do like your tip though. That not everyone is his friend. I'll remember to say that to him. I'm sure he takes the stickers away from his friend because i take away his privileges when his behaviour is not acceptable ... so i guess it must have come from me :( He response in that way because of the past experience he's had with me. Well, i think so anyway. Thanks again for the reply! - Lyn
• United States
19 Apr 07
As a high school teacher, I am here to say that teaching social skills does not get any easier. It always amazes me the shock on kids faces when I try to explain to them that something is rude or disrespectful. Some of them truly are unaware and when you tell them they look crushed. I think part of the problem is that what is acceptable on tv, in music, and in video games becomes more and more the other direction. I think the best way is by kids spending less time doing those things and more time with positive role models that are willing to take the time to explain things and that will assist a child when they do make a social faux pas..great topic, I look forward to other answers.