Savoir vivre for kids - does it exist?

By | 2/19/2015 Leave a Comment

I've been obsessed recently with kids savoir vivre. I am just looking around and I don't like what I see. I have to admit I think I wasn't consistent enough with my own kids and I was giving up way too quickly. Partially because I was too tired to fight and talk them into doing things they just didn't want to do and partially because somehow I couldn't see the long term effect of "just letting go" today. But I feel back on track and heavily educating myself now!

Surprisingly enough there is not so much on the market which specializes for kids only. Lots of general articles that are just a common sense but the question is - HOW to break it down for a 5 year old? Or even for a 1 year old? Its a hard work I must admit but if we set right examples and mostly show them what needs to be done big chance is they will follow us. Eventually. Or at least it will be engraved in their subconscious and will come back when they are adults. Let's hope for it!

Today I am going to talk about my first challenge with my first child. She was taken care of by a nanny as I was a working mum back then so her first 18 months (I returned to work when she was 4 months old) was spent with a caregiver. I hate to blame anyone and I have to say that our nanny was this sweet Philipina having her own grandkids already. She absolutely adored Maja and I was perfectly satisfied with her work. My daughter was always happy with her and missed her on the weekends. However different culture brings different traditions and standards. Especially when it comes to eating habits. I knew for fact that my daughter was constantly fed in front of the TV, in her high chair or she was chased on the playground by a nanny with a spoon so she will just take another bite. Not to mention that she would never see her nanny eating with her so she would never know how it should be done. Our weekend attempts to go out and eat in a restaurant were never successful as Maja would just not eat anything and then cry to demand TV to be on. Being a hard working mum I was just telling myself that as long as she is fed and happy no harm done. But now I see the long term effect of that and it took me a little bit more that 2 years to turn it around. Can you image? 2 years of fighting and kid tantrums and her refusing to eat for 2 weeks just cause I wanted her to sit at the table without a TV on. Ahhhh....Good thing is that I was successful and I am so proud for both of us! Maja is almost 6 years now and she can hold a small talk with a stranger at a table which makes my heart jumping up and down. She is a naturally shy girl so that is a fantastic achievement!

Now I can easily advise your mothers to start etiquette lessons with their children as soon as possible. It is never to early to teach a little one table manners, how to look good or how to take care of your own hygiene. I strongly believe it is extremely needed in the present society when people just generally don't care and the highest value is just to be happy and have a lot. But its our job as mothers to ensure that our kids will be respected adults with many people around them who can then become their business partners, friends or husbands/wifes. I would like to highlight the importance of raising a polite person who knows how to use good manners in the right situations to benefit them. Its all about basics but that requires time spend with your child and its never ending education. As they get older there is more and more to learn as how to throw a tea party for your friends for example. How to attend a sleep over? Gift receiving and giving? How to respect adult conversation and do not interrupt? Greetings and magic words like "thank you" and "please" which are basics but how about adding "nice to meet you" at the end of a conversation? You progress with your child as they get older and build on it. Cause really - what are we teaching our kids these days? Only math and science won't help if they won't be able to treat their boss with respect in order to get a promotion, right?

There are so many subjects that can be taught to a young human being but setting an example is the best way. Kids always copy us - especially young ones. So why not using this opportunity to teach? Sounds easy, right? Maybe we can learn something along the way?

Watch this space as I will bring more topics and solutions which are tested on my own kids!:)
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