For toddlers, stories are how they learn a lot of their behavior. Using stories for different subjects is a great way to reinforce the points you are trying to get across. One of my favorites for manners is The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners. It’s such a fun little story and the method Mama Bear uses to teach her family that manners are good is one we can all adapt to our own families.The books is a great resource for story time right before lunch or an outing. Mama Bear gets very upset when Brother and Sister begin to forget their manners. So she devises a plan with consequences. Brother and Sister Bear decide to be so polite to each other that Mama Bear will get sick of the good manners. Can you guess what happens???Here is the video for a fun few minutes with your little ones.
Here is a little printable you can fill in with your own Manners and what happens if your little ones forget. Don’t forget to make the consequences age appropriate. By 2.5 to 3 your little ones should have a good enough grasp on what they know they are expected to do and not that you can make this work for your family.
Some other suggestions for your library of manner helpers are:
365 Manners Kids Should Know is an excellent book. It has daily manners to teach your children, activities, games and is full of both traditional and modern etiquette like properly greeting people and how to use your manners for email. We do utilize this book, but not daily. It would be a perfect daily addition for slightly older children. I cannot tell you what a great resource it is for me, too. I don’t always remember my manners either. We all need reminders sometimes.
Manners Time is a sweet little board book for your very young toddlers and little boys and girls. Great for the babies to 4 year old range. It’s simple to understand explanations and pictures are wonderful. There are even parent and caregiver tips.
If you never purchase any other manners book, you should purchase Everyday Graces. I cannot sing praises enough.
From the Publisher: “In Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Good Manners, Karen Santorum has produced for parents and teachers a wonderfully rich and instructive anthology. Her volume speaks to the regrettable fact that the subject of manners is not much discussed anymore, and good manners seem practiced even less. Yet, good manners are a prerequisite for the growth of moral character; they are the habits of conduct and behavior by which we express in the most ordinary circumstances our fundamental respect for others, whether parents, friends, colleagues, or strangers. It is evident, then, that when we fail to instill good manners in our youth we invite a decline of civility and a coarsening of our common life.
Under such headings as “Honor Your Mother and Father,” “Please and Thank You,” “No Hurtful Words, “Good Behavior in Sport,” and “Showing Respect for Country,” Mrs. Santorum has arranged a collection of stories and poems that will develop and enrich the moral imagination. Some of her selections are well known; others are forgotten gems that deserve a new hearing. Authors include Hans Christian Anderson, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Frances Hodgson Burnett, M. Montgomery, C. S. Lewis, Max Lucado and Arnold Lobel, to name only a few.”
Do you have favorite stories for teaching your children manners? What are they?