How to teach good manners to children

Five Ways to Teach Good Manners to Children

Posted on November 28, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

How to teach good manners to children

“Yes, please.” “No, thank you.” “Excuse me.” All parents want their children to behave appropriately in public. However, it can be challenging to teach good manners to children in the midst of all the other tasks that child rearing brings. Ultimately, it doesn’t take much extra effort to teach our children to be polite. By integrating these five simple tips into your daily routine, your child will be using their manners before you know it.

Teach Polite Words From the Beginning

It may be tempting to leave out polite words as you speak to your small baby. After all, you want to make your speech simple so that your child can understand. At the same time, integrating polite language and phrases from the beginning gives you a great head start on teaching good manners to children. Many parents choose to learn the American Sign Language signs for “please” and “thank you” – or make up their own gestures – so that even pre-verbal children can practice good manners.

Model Appropriate Manners

One of the biggest determiners of a child’s good manner are the manners of his or her parents. Your child is watching and listening to you, and if you are using polite phrases it is likely your child will too. This is especially true when you are addressing your child. Try to include “please” when you ask your child to do something and “thank you” when they listen well. Not only will it develop good habits for you, but it will also establish a tone and expectation for communication with your child. Saying simple things like “thank you for waiting for me” and “please put your arm in the sleeve” will make polite words normal to your child. Using these phrases habitually will be good for your whole family.

Correct Politely

Hand in hand with modeling correct manners, be sure that any corrections you make to your child’s behavior are done respectfully. It can be tempting to quickly snap, “say please” or “don’t forget to say thank you.” However, your teaching will be much more impactful if you model and correct at the same time. Try to use phrases like, “please try that again with good manners” or “what do we say?”. When parents use polite words and phrases even when they are annoyed or frustrated, children will learn that these words aren’t only for happy, easy times, but are common courtesy for all people and situations.

Offer Alternative Behaviors

It is easy to point out when our children are being impolite. They may chew with their mouths open, speak too loudly in public, or not respond politely to a gift. However, it is important to remember that a child doesn’t naturally understand manners and must be taught appropriate responses. Instead of telling your child what not to do, try giving them an alternative that is more polite. So if she is chewing with her mouth open, say, “please close your lips when you chew.” And if he is being too loud in public, remind him that “a smaller place needs a smaller voice.” Giving your child direction on what behaviors are desirable allows them to make adjustments on their own as they grow.

Practice and Role-Play

Children love to play pretend and those moments are great teaching opportunities. This works especially well for situational manners, like meeting someone for the first time or opening gifts at a birthday party. If your child is small, you can take turns practicing the correct responses. If you have an older child, try playacting the scenario and responding in crazy and silly ways. Examples would be making animals sounds at the person you are meeting or hiding after opening a gift. This will make your child laugh and give them the opportunity to “teach” you about the right response.

There are many ways to teach good manners to children. But if you are looking for a simple and healthy way to help your child learn polite behavior, the tips above will put you on the right track. Are you looking for childcare that will assist you in teaching your children these essential life skills? Legacy Academy Greenville may be a great fit for you. Call or visit today to learn more.