Advertisement

How can I teach my child good manners?

Michele Borba
Psychology

Here are a few solutions to enhance good social graces in your children and give them that edge for a better life.

• Point Out the Value of Manners. Discuss with your children the value of good manners. You might say, “Using good manners helps you gain the respect of others. It’s also a great way to meet new friends. Polite people just make the world a kinder place.” Once kids understand the impact good manners have on others, they’re more likely to incorporate courtesy in their own behavior.

• Teach A Manner A Week. When my children were young I taught them a jingle, “Hearts, like doors, will open with ease, if you learn to use these keys.” We’d then print a manner a week on a large paper key and tape it on our kitchen door as a reminder. It helped me recognize “catching new manners” doesn’t happen overnight: it takes consistent effort to enhance them in our kids. So, how about teaching a “Manner a Week?” Write the manner on an index card, post it on your refrigerator, and then hold a contest to see how many times family members hear another member use the word. Here’s a few to get you started: “Please., Thank you., May I?, Excuse me, I’m sorry., Pardon me., I’m glad to meet you,, You go first., and May I introduce….?”

• Practice Manners. A friend of mine who really wanted to make sure her children “caught good manners” started a unique family tradition: Once a month, she asks her children to help her plan a party. The children plan the menu, set their table–with only their “company dishes”–arrange a centerpiece of hand-picked flowers, and then sit in their “Sunday best.” The party is just for their family, and it’s the time my friend helps her children practice table manners such as “please pass,” “thank you,” “May I be excused?” (as well as keeping your napkin on your lap, chewing with your mouth closed, waiting for others to speak, and learning which fork to use with each course). Yes, it takes a lot of work, but she swears it’s worth it.
The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

More About this Book

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...

Continue Learning about Preschool Age Child Development

What is a typical daily kindergarten routine?
Lynne KenneyLynne Kenney
Daily classroom Pre-K to kindergarten routines typically include: Circle or group time: Children ...
More Answers
How can I help my kids learn to play alone?
Michele BorbaMichele Borba
There are many ways to help your kids learn to play alone and entertain themselves.  Here are boredo...
More Answers
What Your Baby's Body Language Is Telling You
What Your Baby's Body Language Is Telling You
What to Expect from Your Kindergartener
What to Expect from Your Kindergartener

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.