ot too long ago, it could be argued that it was normal and expected that children were “seen but not heard”. Traditional speaking manners for children involved simply keep them quiet. Today, children are generally afforded more of a voice in the world and rightly so, as they are, after all, the future adults of our society. However, with this comes our responsibility to guide children in how to and how not to speak to others.
If you ask most children “What is the magic word?”, you’ll likely hear them respond with “Please”. Where this ‘magic’ sentiment originated from is a mystery, but what is not a mystery is the reasoning behind this extremely important word in everyday communication between people that changes the tone and outcome of conversations completely.
Once “please” enters an interaction, a command becomes a courteous request and the relationship in that moment becomes unhindered by negativity. For example “Hand me the towel”, comes across as direct and impolite, but once the word ‘please’ is added to the statement, “Please, hand me the towel”, the tone of the conversation is one of respect and politeness. This one simple, yet powerful word changes the way in which we are seen by other people and how we are treated in return.
• ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ really are the magic words.
• Shouting and using bad language are not good manners.
• Try to let people finish what they are saying. try not to interrupt.
• Ignoring other people when they are speaking to you is not good manners.
QUESTIONS TO START A CONVERSATION
• Do you prefer other people to speak nicely to you?
• Do you think others will prefer that you speak politely to them?
• When did you last use your speaking manners?
OUR SPEAKING MANNERS MANTRA
“Please and thank you
is the way,
Use you manners
Zi and Zanzi are playing in the sand. Zi wants to use bucket. How does she ask Zanzi?
Help your child spell out the speaking manners magic words and then let them colour in the scene.
A4 HOME WALL POSTER
Print these posters as part of a set.
Collect one for each Topic
For a bit of fun, here’s a completion certificate to print out and complete. Try to collect them all!