Children most often learn good manners from the people they spend time with. They are like sponges, absorbing every bit of the world around them! Good manners show your child respects themselves and others. However, not all manners come naturally and some can take a bit of time for children to really get a handle on.
Teaching a child manners takes time, patience, and practice. From please-and-thank-yous to learning social cues, learning good manners can be invaluable.
Why Manners Matter
Learning good manners and how to behave in social situations now, can help a child foster fruitful, long-lasting relationships with their peers, superiors, and colleagues in the future. Manners can help open doors to great opportunities and solidify relationships throughout their lives.
Proper manners can help your child build self-respect and supportive friendships. They can also help teach a child how to interact with teachers, coaches, nannies, family, and other adults around them in a socially appropriate way that reflects their developing
How to Teach Your Child Good Manners
Good manners are most often taught and learned. Here are a few steps you can take to make the process a bit easier.
Talk About the WHY
Children always want to know why it’s good to do something. Explain to them how good manners make a good impression. Discuss how they might feel if someone was rude to them. Would they like it? Teach them to treat others as they would want to be treated.
Model Good Behavior
One of the best ways you can teach good manners is by modeling them. Children are constantly repeating what they see. Remember to say your own please-and-thank-yous and your child may soon follow suit. Do this especially when speaking to your child. When you thank your child for doing something like tidying their room or bringing you something you asked for, they pick up on it. Good modeling reaps solid results.
Watch Videos About Manners
There are many resources on YouTube and elsewhere online that teach basic good manners to children. Have your children watch videos and talk about them. What did they learn? What manners do they think are important to remember?
It can also help to read books with your Children on manners. You might be able to source resources about manners featuring some of their favorite characters, which can help the message hit really home. Did Elmo do it? If so, this might help get your children on board to do it, too.
Sign Up for Classes
Manners classes and etiquette lessons can teach your child how to behave appropriately. For older children, good manners can go beyond shaking hands when saying hello, or asking how someone is doing. Good manners apply to knowing table etiquette, and general best ways of behaving in public. This can refer to how and when to use your phone, how and when to RSVP, how to behave on online social networks, and when to say ‘excuse me’ or to apologize.
7 Manners Children Should Know
It’s always a good idea to get started young and to begin with the basics. Experts recommend children know the following ten manners as a starting point.
Saying please and thank you is definitely one of the first manners children need to learn right from the get-go. When asking for something say “please”, and when receiving something say “thank you”.
Don’t interrupt Teach children to not interrupt someone while speaking. Let others finish their thought and then respond. This doesn’t mean don’t speak up or have a small presence. It’s also reminding children to be good listeners and to stay present.
If you don’t have anything nice to say…. Children have all sorts of thoughts and they share them freely! Teaching them to refrain from speaking judgmental or hurtful thoughts can go a long way towards fostering the acceptance of difference. It also teaches them self-acceptance.
Say “excuse me” Teaching Children to say “excuse me” is important. Coach them to say this when entering a conversation, or when needing to pass in close quarters. This can also apply to the occasional burp and other “bodily functions”.
Always say thank you for a gift Even if they don’t like it, it’s the thought that counts. Always say thank you.
Knock on closed doors Teaching children to knock before entering teaches them the right to privacy. This one becomes easier as they grow older and also want their own privacy.
No name-calling No one likes a bully! Plain and simple.
Good manners can help your child mature and belong. They can also go a long way towards fostering a positive outlook on life and the future.