The Importance of Teaching Your Kids Manners

The Importance of Teaching Your Kids Manners

Manners can be a hard thing to teach kids. But they are an important part of life and it is worth the effort. Teaching your children manners will help them grow up understanding right from wrong which can make them productive citizens in society.

No one wants to be the parent of a child with bad manners. No one wants to take responsibility for raising an adult who has no idea what everyday etiquette should look like, do they?

Whether you like it or not, manners matter. Manners make the world go round and if your 3 year old learns to ask for things politely or hold a door, it says something about you as a parent. We all want to raise polite, respectful children. But where do we begin?

For starters, you need to practice young. If your little one is old enough to ask for milk, they are old enough to say please (or something that sounds close enough that you know what they mean).

Here are a few good things to remember when it comes to teaching little kids manners.

Boy sitting with hands folded using table manners

Manners are the concrete of society

It is critical for your children to learn manners at home and from a young age. This will teach them early on that there is a time and place for certain things. They are the building blocks of being polite, respectful human beings.

Don’t just think of manners as just being polite to other people or saying please and thank you. Manners are about so much more than that. For example, it’s also necessary for children to know that they aren’t supposed to hit, kick or bite at other kids.

Manners teach children respect and responsibility

When you teach your children to say please and thank you, it shows that they are respecting the person who is doing something for them. Plus it teaches them to be grateful. When someone holds a door open for them, it’s important to have them say “thank you” because this is just another example of how being polite matters in society.

Being helpful is a big part of manners. Teaching your children responsibility in the form of picking up after yourself or doing chores to help out in the home and community is great way to teach manners.

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Lead by example

It’s easy for parents to want their children to be polite. But it can go both ways. If you are polite and respectful and they see that, they will likely follow suit with little thought. It will almost be a reflex for them to copy your manners.

If you are constantly running your mouth off and being rude, odds are they will learn to do the same. So remember to pay attention to your own manners as well. Your kids are watching you so don’t underestimate the power of your influence.

Family dinners are a great time for teaching manners. It is common sense to use this time to teach about behavior, whether you are meaning to, or not. 

boy serving a woman a waffle from a pan

Teach manners to your kids by enforcing them in everyday life and praising good behavior when it occurs

Manners are the building blocks of being polite, respectful human beings. If you enforce manners in everyday life and praise good behavior when it occurs, your kids will grow up understanding right from wrong which can help them become productive citizens in society.

Teach children to say “Yes, Ma’am,” and “No, Ma’am,” “Please” and “Thank You,” as well as other phrases like “Here I’ll hold that door open for you.” When they do these things, make sure you are acknowledging that you see their manners and appreciate them. Positive re-enforcement will encourage them to continue to use their manners.

Children should be taught to say “Yes, Ma’am,” and “No, Ma’am,” “Please” and “Thank You.”

When kids say these things, make sure you are acknowledging that you see their manners and appreciate them. Positive re-enforcement will encourage them to continue with polite behavior.

When they ask for something remind them to say “please” and then “thank you” once they get the item they asked for. A small reminder is all it will take to create the habit.

Girl sitting at a table using manners to cut with knife and fork on plate

Be sure to enforce manners in every aspect of their lives

When you enforce manners in every aspect of their lives including home, school and with friends, they will see that it is important everywhere. They are the building blocks of being polite and respectful human beings.

If you hear them asking a friend for a toy in preschool, gently remind them to say please. When you are talking with another mom and they interrupt, ask them to say “excuse me” and the wait to be addressed.

Basic manners matter at the dinner table. Feet off the table, no reaching over others, chew with your mouth closed. These are all basic table manners you should work to instill in your children. Proper etiquette matters more than you might think and a well-mannered child will be easier to raise than you think if you start young and are consistent. 

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What age do you teach children manners?

I teach my kids manners from a very young age. But, of course, I give them time to grow into it on their own. Manners are important for everyone in society and they can help make life more pleasant – even if you’re only saying “please” and “thank you.” So teach your children appropriate manners early on and then praise them when they practice.

It’s important to teach your kids manners from a very young age. Manners are the building blocks of being polite, respectful human beings and they can help make life more pleasant – even if you’re only saying “please” and “thank you.” So teach your children appropriate manners early on and then praise them when they practice. In order to be successful in teaching your child good manners, it is also imperative that parents lead by example. If you want them to say please or thank you when asked for something, don’t forget to do so yourself! It will almost become a reflex for them because they see how important it is everywhere in their lives. What better way to raise an upstanding citizen than by teaching them what society expects of everyone.

The world may not revolve around manners but I think it should. Our children will be better for it as they reach adulthood and go out into the world prepared to tackle what life throws at them, with a little bit of yes ma’am and no ma’am to see them through.

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