6 Good Manners Every Child Should Be Taught

Good manners are like the magic words that make the world a better place. Teaching children manners isn't just about politeness; it's about instilling values that shape them into considerate and respectful individuals. In this article, we'll explore six good manners that every child should be taught, focusing on simple words and easy-to-understand concepts.

1. Saying "Please" and "Thank You"

The magic words, "please" and "thank you," have the power to transform ordinary conversations into expressions of kindness. Teaching children to use these words is like giving them a superpower of politeness.

Encourage your child to say "please" when making requests. For example, instead of just saying, "I want a cookie," they can say, "Can I please have a cookie?" This small addition adds a sprinkle of politeness.

Likewise, when someone does something nice for them, teach your child to express gratitude by saying "thank you." Whether it's receiving a gift, being helped with homework, or getting a compliment, acknowledging kindness with a simple "thank you" goes a long way.

To make learning this manner fun, consider creating a "politeness chart" where your child gets a star every time they use these magic words. Celebrate their progress and watch as politeness becomes second nature.

2. Being Patient and Waiting Turns

Patience is a virtue, and it's a virtue worth teaching from a young age. Help your child understand the importance of waiting their turn and being patient in various situations.

Whether it's waiting in line, waiting for their turn on the swing, or waiting for a sibling to finish talking, patience is a valuable skill. Teach them that good things come to those who wait and that impatience can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or hurt feelings.

Use simple activities to reinforce this concept, like playing board games or taking turns during playdates. When they show patience, acknowledge and praise their effort, reinforcing the idea that waiting turns is a considerate and polite behaviour.

3. Using "Excuse Me" and "I'm Sorry"

Learning to apologise and acknowledge mistakes is an essential part of developing good manners. Teach your child to say "excuse me" when they need someone's attention or if they accidentally bump into someone. It's a polite way of asking for permission to speak or move past.

Additionally, instil the habit of saying "I'm sorry" when they make a mistake or accidentally hurt someone's feelings. Understanding the impact of their actions and taking responsibility for them is a vital life skill.

Encourage your child to use "excuse me" and "I'm sorry" genuinely, avoiding empty apologies or using them as mere formalities. This helps build empathy and shows that they value the feelings of others.

4. Respecting Personal Space

Respecting personal space is like giving people their little bubble of comfort. Teach your child to be mindful of other people's personal space, whether it's in crowded places, during play, or when waiting in line.

Explain the concept of personal space using simple terms, like imagining an invisible bubble around each person. Help them understand that everyone has their bubble, and it's important not to invade it without permission.

Practise personal space by playing games like "Simon Says," incorporating movements that respect personal boundaries. Reinforce positive behaviours, such as giving hugs or high-fives when invited to do so.

By teaching your child to respect personal space, you're fostering a sense of consideration for others' comfort, which is a cornerstone of good manners.

5. Using Table Manners

Mealtime manners are like the secret sauce that makes dining enjoyable for everyone. Teach your child the basics of table manners to ensure they can confidently navigate meals in various settings.  

Start with simple manners like chewing with their mouth closed and not talking with a mouthful of food. Use positive reinforcement by praising them when they exhibit good table manners. You can even make mealtime fun by turning it into a game, giving them points for each well-mannered action.   

Introduce the concept of setting the table, teaching them to use cutlery properly and asking to be excused when they've finished eating. By involving them in the mealtime routine, you're instilling a sense of responsibility and good manners.

Remember, the goal is not to create a strict atmosphere but to help your child feel confident and respectful in various dining situations, whether at home, a friend's house, or a restaurant.

6. Listening and Using Polite Words

Listening is a crucial aspect of good manners. Teach your child to be an active listener by making eye contact, nodding, and responding appropriately when others speak. This shows respect and consideration for the thoughts and feelings of those around them.

Encourage the use of polite words like "excuse me," "please," and "thank you" during conversations. This not only enhances their communication skills but also adds a touch of politeness to their interactions.

Set a positive example by actively listening when your child speaks. Show them that their opinions and thoughts are valued, creating an environment where good manners flourish naturally.

In summary, teaching good manners to children involves instilling the use of "please" and "thank you," encouraging patience and waiting turns, promoting the use of "excuse me" and "I'm sorry," teaching respect for personal space, introducing table manners, and fostering active listening with the use of polite words. By incorporating these simple and meaningful lessons, you're equipping your child with essential social skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

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