Are you anxious every time you go out into public because you don’t know what your kids are going to do next? We’ve got your back! Teach your children good manners with these 7 essential, good manners for kids. Plus, find out simple and effective ways for parents to teach these manners in no time!
Teach Your Child these Essential Good Manners For Kids
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I’m going to let you in on a little secret- children aren’t always polite and well-mannered. Shocking, I know! So, what does a tired, stressed-out mom do with an impolite child that is sometimes rude to you and others?
We’ve got a solution for you.
Here are 7 good manners for kids that you can start teaching your child right away, plus a few tips for teaching them!
It is never too early, or to late to teach your children good manners. Hope is not lost- start today!!
What Are Good Manners?
Good manners include two things: the way we treat other people, and how we behave around other people. “Good” manners means that we treat people with respect, are kind, and go out of our way to help others. It means that we behave civilized (no burping, farting, fighting, hitting, etc.).
I know it might be hard for children to learn, but it is important to help them learn good manners before they start school and “enter the world” so to speak.
Good Manners for Kids
Good manners for kids are all about respect. Children should know to respect adults and to not interrupt when others are speaking. There are also many good manners that we take for granted. It is important to recognize little things- such as greeting someone when they come into the home, introducing people who might not know each other or opening the door for someone. Teach your children these good manners for kids, and many more!
Here are 7 Examples Of Good Manners
Say “Please” and “Thank You”
I don’t think that there are any words in the dictionary more powerful than please and thank you. These words have a magical ability to make people around you happier, more inclined to like you, and to make your momma more proud! Teach your children to always say “please” when they are asking for something, and “thank you” when you give them something.
Something I did with my 18-month-old was to hold her sippy cup (or anything else she wanted, a toy, food, etc) in my hands and ask her to “say please!” before handing it to her. 2 months later, and now she will say it every time she wants anything. Similarly, when I hand her what she wants, I say, “What do you say?” and she says, “Tank oo!” in her cutest little toddler voice.
Children are never too young to learn good manners for kids.
Clean-Up When You Make a Mess
I know we all have that one relative- the one that comes over to your house for a playdate, and then leaves a giant mess in your basement that you get to clean up for the next week.
It’s the worst! How does that make you feel? I know. It’s terrible.
So, teach your children to clean up after themselves. Always. No matter what!
If you take your children to a friend’s house for a playdate, do not leave until they have helped to clean up the mess they made. I don’t care what else you have going on- if you don’t make that a priority, your children won’t, either.
Something that always works for me is to give my children the 10-minute notice. They know that they have approximately 10 more minutes to play and then it will be time to tidy up. No questions asked, they know it’s expected.
Write Thank You Notes
Writing thank you notes isn’t a thing of the past, believe it or not! I was never taught to write thank you notes as a child (it’s ok, Mom. I still love you!). Since getting married, my husband has taught me the importance of writing thank you notes to people who have done something kind for me. It isn’t always easy, and I am tempted to make a fuss about doing it, but it is always worthwhile.
Help your children write thank you notes and deliver them to the post office together. I assure you, your children will feel so good about themselves and be asking, “Did they get it yet?” all day.
Don’t Make Fun of Others
One of the best things about children is that they don’t have any filters and are honest. However, this can lead to a lot of hurt feelings at school or with friends. Teach your child to keep negative thoughts in their head, even when they really, really want to say them. Making fun of other people will leave your child, and the person being made fun of, feeling icky and sad.
One way to help kids be kinder is to treat them with kindness and avoid saying mean things to them as adults or about other adults and children in front of them (or even in your home at all). If your children are mean to one another at home, make sure to use appropriate discipline so they know that is not acceptable.
Look for Ways to Compliment Someone
A genuine compliment can change someone’s life! Nothing makes a person feel better than when someone compliments something about them. Teach your children to notice little things, like a pretty smile, a cool pair of shoes, a nice gesture, or an act of kindness. If a child notices something they like about someone else, tell them to express it!
Practice this at home by complimenting your children, and having them compliment their siblings. This only works if the compliments are genuine and sincere, and not forced.
Offer Help and Assistance to Others
A well-mannered child notices when people are in need and is eager to step up and help. If a child sees someone struggling to carry a book, tie their shoe, or fix their torn paper, they can offer to help. Help your children practice this at home. Encourage them to notice when their siblings might need help, and then say, “Why don’t you try helping your brother?”
People who help others, receive help when they need it. What goes around, comes around!
Sharing is a huge part of being well-mannered. Although it is sometimes difficult to get children to share, it is important for them to learn to put other people first. If they have friends over, make sure to monitor them closely and step in if your child isn’t sharing. Give them an age-appropriate consequence so that they know not to do it again.
If children learn to share toys when they are young, they will be more cooperative when they are adolescents and adults. It will help them be better team players, and they will develop more empathy for others as they learn to put other people first.
Now that we have talked about good manners for kids, let’s talk about 3 simple ways to help you teach them these manners!
Show them Respect
Manners stem from respect for other people and their feelings. In the home, it is important for you to teach your children respect. If you do not show respect to your child, they won’t want to show respect for you. It’s a classic case of monkey-see, monkey-do.
Be an example!
You can show respect for your children by listening intently to what they have to say. Don’t blow them off or say that their frustrations are trivial or unimportant.
If they have a suggestion, tell them “thank you” and then try to implement it. Always use “please” and “thank you” when speaking with your children, and be polite.
Another important way to show your children respect is to avoid embarrassing them in front of other people. If you need to discipline them, pull them aside and try not to make a scene. Do not belittle them if they make a mistake, especially in front of their friends.
Teach Good Manners At Home
You wouldn’t expect your child to master playing the piano without years of lessons, would you? So, why do we sometimes expect our children to have perfect manners when we have never sat down and taught them a lesson in manners?
I hope that was a bit of an ah-ha moment for you. It certainly was for me!
Try and set aside time each week, or once a month (or whatever you timeframe you decide) to sit down with your children and teach them about good manners.
For one lesson, you might set the table, serve a nice meal, and teach children the proper dinner etiquette. Another lesson might be on saying “please” and “thank you”, or on saying nice things to other people. Make sure to teach these lessons during calm moments, not during an emotional meltdown or misbehavior.
Of course, after these lessons, children will still need reminders every once in a while of what they have learned. Give gentle reminders and tell them to keep on trying!
Praise Efforts and Good Manners
The most important part of teaching your children good manners is to praise their efforts, even if they aren’t entirely successful. Be aware of times that they didn’t say something mean, and thank them for being so thoughtful and kind. Notice if they say, “thank you” unexpectedly, or share a toy with their friend.
When parents notice the good things their children do, the children are much more motivated to continue doing good.
When I was little, I tried so hard to be good because I wanted my dad to say, “Good job, I am proud of you!” It was the best feeling in the world when he did. I promise you, your children feel the same way about hearing it from you!
Now that you have learned about good manners for kids and simple & effective ways to teach them, what changes are you going to make?
LOOKING FOR MORE PARENTING TIPS?
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- How to Teach Your Child Gratitude
Were these helpful tips to help you teach good manners for kids?
Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!