Toddler Manners

Tuesday’s should be for talking about the very active toddler that lives in my house. Maybe I’ll start a new thing. Or maybe I’ll do it this week only. 🙂

We’ve been working a lot on manners. Maximus has always been very good at using them. We only taught him a few sign language words – more, all done, please, and thank you. Those were the essentials to get us through meals and eventually his wants before he could speak. It’s no surprise that those are some of his first words as they were the most frequently used in our house. In the beginning he signed them and said them. He eventually dropped the signs, except for please. I like to think he uses it as a dramatic emphasis.

Around 18 months, he went through another communication hurdle. His brain exploded with things he thought he could do and say, except we had no idea what he was trying to tell us. It was pretty common to see him violently signing please while repeating the word three times. Then around two there was the phase where he wanted something that he couldn’t have, say a knife on the counter. One please didn’t work so he’d try for three. Then of course meltdown into a puddle of tears when I still refused to grant him his wish.

The past few weeks he’s been asking for things that aren’t food related and we’re really pushing him to “ask nicely.” For instance, “up!” isn’t so enjoyable when a toddler is constantly demanding it. {It’s not always enjoyable when you’re 6 months pregnant regardless of the level of cute he says it with!} It amazes me that we only need to remind him once a day and it sticks with him. We had people over for a football game on Saturday. He was sitting with me on the couch and was too shy to walk across the room to find Bryan. He demanded, “up mommy.” I quietly said, “can you ask nicely?” “Please! Up mommy.” The room laughed, but I was proud of my little guy for knowing what I was asking him to do. The thing with the word please, he changes his tone. He’s much nicer when he uses that word than when he demands something. He also uses a convincing tone and shakes his head yes. 🙂

I heard him later that night. He was in the kitchen, where all the food was, and asked one of my friends for “more-more.” She asked him if he wanted a couple of things and he kept saying no. Finally he said, “up!” I cringed at him because he was demanding that someone else’s mommy lift him up and find him food. But, before she bent down to get him I heard him say, “please!” It was a proud mommy moment. On the one hand, I was trying to hide in my chair because he was asking someone else to help him. I haven’t seen him do that to anyone but our family. One the other hand, he remembered to use his manners!

He’s not consistent about using thank you so we’re trying to put a lot of focus on thanking each other for things. This morning at breakfast, Bryan brought him a napkin. “Thank you daddy!” piped the little voice as Bryan set it down. He knows what the word is for, he just hasn’t decided that he should always use it.

Last week Bryan sneezed while pushing Maximus in the stroller. Without missing a beat, his little voice said, “bess you daddy. bess you daddy. bess you daddy.” I’ve been sneezing multiple times a day and we’ve made a point of saying, “excuse me” and “bless you mommy” to teach him what you do. It was one of those adorable moments when you realize that he’s watching and taking every little thing in. And of course the first time we see him do something, we basically melt into a puddle on the ground. It’s those things that I think about as I fall asleep at night.

He was also heard saying “cuse me” a few times last week. It must have been a big week in the manners department, because he sure did pick up on a lot! Please tell me that this isn’t a phase and that he’ll continue to be a good mannered boy!

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