Your child 3-5 years

Politeness is transmitted


At home, at school or at grandparents' home, your child needs to be familiar with different rules of politeness. How to find it and build his own code of etiquette?

  • If the parents are the central point of education and the initiators of the rules of politeness, their child meets other people - his teacher, his grandparents, his nanny ... - who also require special attention.
  • How does he manage to sort? By relying on the common and coherent notions that everyone transmits to him. He will learn that the form can vary but rarely the bottom and that he can adapt his behavior to places and circumstances.
  • Does his grandmother want him to kiss her while her mistress is happy with an oral hello? On the form, there are two different ways of presenting oneself, but on the bottom, the message is the same: he must say "hello" and it is this notion that he must remember.
  • He will learn little by little that politeness is not necessarily one but several, politeness of manners, the politeness of the mind and that of the heart.

Politeness: you have to understand it

  • But to make sense, politeness must first of all be understood by the child, who must appropriate it through his own experiences. "Politeness does not require, it is transmitted," recalls Christine Brunet, clinical psychologist.
  • In everyday life, a child validates the rules of good behavior that his entourage teaches him by confronting the group that will reinforce him in his conviction that they are necessary. For adults to help him find harmony with himself, staying consistent in their messages so he understands the whole issue behind these rules.
  • An apprenticeship that he will pursue throughout his life.

Politeness: the message must be coherent

  • For Dominique Picard, a professor of social psychology *, "for a child to find himself there, the message of his different interlocutors must be coherent." Parents may be more demanding than the teacher or vice versa but the important thing is is that it does not feel contradictions, they will for example teach him that we must say "hello", but there can be several ways to do it: get up when the teacher enters the class, make a kiss to his grandfather, make a cuckoo from afar to a neighbor ...
  • The important thing is that he understands the meaning of this act. Politeness is not a series of precepts that do not make sense, it is a code of relationships that will gradually become obvious. One child understands very well that you can express the same thing with different shades. And if he's surprised, it's easy enough to explain to him. Be careful not to pre-empt his questions, at the risk of complicating his world and worrying him. "

Stéphanie Letellier

* Author of Politesse, etiquette and social relations, ed Puf, coll. What do I know?