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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Teaching Manners

Teaching Manners:

From the very beginning, your children learn by watching you. If you want your children to be polite, you have to lead by example. If you do this, raising a courteous child can be quite simple. Of course, there is always the possibility that when they get older, they will choose to not act politely. This is much more unlikely, though, if you make it an important and common part of your lives from the very beginning.

When your child first begins talking, the time has already arrived to stress the importance of saying simple courtesy words, such as “please” and “thank you”. While you will not want to try to explain why they need to use these words at this age, as they will not understand what you are telling them, you can still teach them by using them yourself. You will need to not only lead them by example, but also by encouragement.

When they want their cup or a toy, you can tell them to say please first (there will, however, be many times you will have to go ahead and give them what they are wanting even thought they didn’t say it, so you can’t expect it the first few times- it is the repetition that will help them learn it). In this same manner and for the same reasons, you should tell them thank you every time they hand you something. They will end up repeating this (and everything else you say for that matter). Then, the first time your little one says “pleeeease”, without any coaxing, it is extremely adorable and all that practice and working with them has paid off. When they do this, you will want to be sure and tell them what a great job they did by saying it.

As they get older, you will want to continue encouraging this by always telling them thank you for the things they do (even if it’s a requirement such as taking the trash out). This will expand as they get older, and you will have to teach them all the additional information they will need to know to be polite little people. This will include such things as table manners, being courteous and opening doors for people in public, etc. As long as you do these things on a regular basis, your child should follow right in line behind you and do the same kinds of things.

Teach your child the Golden Rule (and let them see that you use it on a regular basis). This is the simplest thing to teach your child, and it is usually very successful in helping your child behave with good manners. They like it because it is self-explanatory for why a certain behavior may not be acceptable. If they wouldn't want someone letting the door hit them when they could have held it, they are more likely to hold the door for a stranger.

Teaching your child to always treat people the way they want to be treated can be the most effective way to lead them into becoming polite adults.

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