Children need to learn speaking etiquettes, like they need to learn proper tooth brushing and hand washing. Below are three ways you can train your children grasp appropriate speaking proprieties:
1. Point out the subtleties of indoor and outdoor conversations. Tell your children that conversations at home are generally more relaxed. On the other hand, indoor public places like libraries demand tone-down voices while open spaces like track ovals take in loud expressions. It would also be helpful if you emphasize that courtesy, regardless of who they are with and where, is always commendable.
2. Be Consistent. Your kids will find your existing speaking protocols easier to follow when you model them yourselves. You cannot expect your children to talk slower and softer if you talk loud and fast even to the person next to you. It is also a great idea to solicit your children’s suggestions to develop speaking rules that reflect their own thoughts and experiences.
3. Effect reinforcement. Let them know that positive and negative habits have consequences. State clearly that if they use inappropriate words habitually, you will purge privileges like playing iPad games after school. In the same vein, if they take turns talking, appreciate and reward them for the action. Make sure they know that their behaviors, positive or negative, do not go unnoticed.
Teaching kids about manners and acceptable speaking behaviors can be exhausting, and I doubt there are short cuts to them. One thing is sure though: your efforts will pay off in due time.
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