To some, I may be old fashioned, but manners are extremely important to me. When I see a friend or family member, I greet them by saying hello and giving a hug. I teach this same philosophy to Scarlett. I always tell her to "say hi". She's not a huge hugger to people she doesn't know well at this age, but that's ok. In the last couple of weeks she's started waving and smiling at anyone and everyone from babies to adults. This is wonderful and I love how social she is. It's important that as Scarlett gets older she says hello to people instead of ignoring them like I see most parents allowing their children to do. Lately, Scarlett even waves bye-bye to people when she has to take a nap or leave a place.
It's imperative to my husband and I that Scarlett say please and thank you. Whenever anyone gives Scarlett a gift or even reads her a book, I tell her to tell them thank you afterwards. It's essential to show your appreciation towards someone who did something nice or special for you. I've been to so many birthday parties where I'm not thanked for the gift we gave the birthday child. For Scarlett's first birthday, I sent out hand-written thank you notes in the mail to the party guests thanking them for the gifts they gave. I'm sure many were surprised at that gesture, but that's how I was raised. If Scarlett wants a snack, I tell her to say please before I give it to her.
Beyond saying please and thank you, we're teaching Scarlett not to hit other children, play nicely, and of course share toys and books with others. I feel that how you raise your child is a direct reflection of you. Certainly, I don't want others wondering about my parenting style in a negative light! Of course, I always praise Scarlett and tell her please and thank you too when I want her to do something.
It's never too early to teach good manners in my opinion, the earlier the better. Your child will highly benefit from your teachings, and everyone around them will love how well-behaved they are.