When good behaviour starts early, it never ends.

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Good behaviour.

How often have you seen toddlers and pre-schoolers creating a god-awful racket?

Bad behaviour.

Well, bad behaviour starts early. But then again, so does good behaviour. Benjamin Franklin had said: It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them. Here then are some pearls of wisdom that we’ve strung together just for you.

“Respect is contagious!”

Respect is contagious.

You can’t expect your toddler to be respectful if you aren’t respectful yourself. If he sees you talking rudely to the domestic help or to your loved ones, he’ll do the same. So do the actions you expect your baby to do. And watch him take after you. Also spending more time with his grandparents will automatically inculcate respect in your little one when he sees how respectful others are towards his nana-naani and dada-dadi.

“Thank You for using Please.”

Thank You for using Please.

An attitude of entitlement starts when babies start bawling: I want … I want … I want! To ensure they don’t become ‘The Most Wanted’, encourage them to use phrases like Thank you, Welcome and Sorry where appropriate. The easiest way to do so: Please start using these terms yourself. Thanks for listening!

“Office work should stay in the office!”

Office work should stay in the office.

Young ones don’t understand the concept of Office. They expect you to be all ears when they are talking about what happened to them . Because, quite frankly, everything is a milestone to them. So no matter how busy you may be, once you are home, tune out of office and tune into your little one. And find out who is his best friends are, what he did in the garden and loads more. This will teach your baby to be more caring and considerate of other as well.

“Table Manners start with Family Dinners.”

Table Manners start with Family Dinners.

The family that dines together smiles together. Family dinners are a delicious way to inculcate good eating habits in your child. When the family dines together, your baby is less likely to snack through the day and eat unhealthily. Dining together also promotes the concept of sharing and stronger family bonds.

“It’s OK to say NO!”

It’s OK to say NO.

It really is and you needn’t feel guilty if you say NO! The last thing you need is your little one turning into someone who thinks the world has only been created to do his bidding. Like The Rolling Stones sang: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you find, you get what you need.

Remind your baby that you are the one in charge and you will be the one making decisions until he grows older. Of course, don’t say NO all the time. It’s OK to say YES as well.

“A little responsibility isn’t a big burden.”

A little responsibility isn’t a big burden.

Hand over something important to your toddler and instruct her to keep it safely and see how she goes about it. Remind her about it from time to time. This small step can go a long way in making your toddler more responsible.

“Let your child find her voice!”

Let your child find her voice.

No, no, please don’t take part in some Junior Talent Hunt. What we are saying is that allowing your child to speak her heart out about matters can make her more sensitive and articulate. You can also ask for your child’s views in small matters concerning the house. That way, she is more likely approach things logically and rationally when she grows up. She will also learn to value the opinions of others.

We too value your opinion. So tell us, #SmartMums “How do you inculcate good behaviour in your little ones?” Please write in to us. We’d love to hear from you.

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