The importance of good manners
An important part of raising your child is teaching them good manners that they are able to apply not only around you, but also when they are on their own. Being polite can set your child up for success later in life. Beyond the basic “please” and “thank you,” you want your child to be able to show respect to their elders and know how to be a polite guest. Enforce these manners from an early age, and your child will catch on in no time.
- Teach your child to always say, “Please” when asking for something and “Thank you” when receiving something or someone has helped them.
- Teach them to say, “Excuse me” when you need they need to get through a crowd, bump into someone or want to get someone’s attention
- Teach them to not interrupt. Whether it be interrupting a conversation between two people that they are not a part of (unless it is an emergency) or when someone is speaking to them.
- Show them how it’s impolite to comment on other people’s characteristics or physical appearances, unless if it is a compliment.
- Teach your child to always ask permission. It’s important that they understand if they aren’t sure about taking or using something, it is always better to ask first.
- Enforce the importance of gratitude. Show your child how to write a simple thank you note. Especially when they receive gifts in the mail, they shouldn’t be allowed to use the gift until they have properly thanked whoever gave it to them. (Here are daily habits of naturally grateful people.)
- Give your child a lesson in hygiene. Teach them to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze and to never pick their nose and always use a tissue. (Here are gross habits you shouldn’t be doing in public.)
- Teach them to politely respond when someone asks them how they are and to always ask the question back.
- Tell them how important it is to respect other people’s privacy. Always knock on closed doors and wait for a response before opening it.
- Enforce the idea of table manners. Teach them to not reach across the table to get something, but instead ask if someone can pass it to them. (Check out these 10 etiquette tips when you’re a guest in someone’s home.)
- Teach them to hold the door open for others if the opportunity presents itself and always say, “Thank you” if someone held the door for them.
- Show them how to clean up after themselves both after play time and eating a meal.
- Teach them to show respect by standing and taking their hat off for the National Anthem.
- Tell them to always remember people’s names and to address people by their names when speaking to them.
- Teach them not to litter and how important is it to keep our earth clean.
- Tell them why it’s important to always have good sportsmanship whether you win or lose.
- Teach your child to take their shoes off whenever they enter anyone’s home.
Originally published as 17 Forgotten Manners Every Parent Should Teach Their Child on ReadersDigest.com.