Learning to wait your turn.
'Wow!' is what we often hear when visitors come to our preschool. They often comment on how 'civilised' it is, and how the adults and children seems to get along so well, showing respect for each other and the materials in the environment.
There's no magic to this. It just takes time, gentle patience and role modelling. Learning how to interact socially begins at birth. From the beginning of life the child is picking up social cues from the people around them whilst participating in everyday family life. The child is absorbing language, attitudes, manners and values. By developing a strong sense of cultural awareness, children learn to live with dignity, respect and politeness towards themselves and others.
In our Montessori East preschool environments we offer lessons in Grace and Courtesy. These may include:
- How to greet someone
- How to blow your nose
- How to wait if you need to speak with someone who is busy
- How to walk in the classroom
- How to ask for help
- How to accept an invitation
- How to offer assistance
- How to wait your turn.
These lessons aid the development of positive interpersonal skills and the children have the opportunity to practice these many times a day.
At home it is also necessary sometimes to ‘teach’ these skills and it is vitally important that the adults be consistent in role modelling appropriate and acceptable behaviours. These may include:
- How to sit quietly at the theatre or cinema
- How to wait in line
- How to talk at the dinner table
- How to ride a scooter on the footpath
- What to say when someone offers a compliment
- How to greet an elderly person
- How to sit in a restaurant/café
- How to interrupt someone who is talking on the phone.
The opportunities are endless.
Using clear language and modelling grace and courtesy provides structure so the child can know his/her place in the world.
Learning patience. Learning how to walk in the classroom.