Kids can have great manners in the classroom, but these behaviors might not always carry over at home. If your child struggles with remembering to be polite, don’t get frustrated with them. Teach them how they can practice good behaviors in everyday situations instead.
Here are a few ways to help your child have better manners at home:
Model polite behaviors
Parents are a child’s first and most influential teachers. Kids will take cues from you on how to behave in social situations, so teach them good manners early on in life by practicing proper etiquette yourself. Treat people with kindness, have patience with your children when they make mistakes, and show respect for others no matter their age, occupation, or social standing.
Use polite words
Growing up, you might have heard adults tell you to “mind your Ps and Qs.” This is because they understood the importance of polite language and wanted to make sure you did, too. Words and phrases like “please,” “excuse me,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” are as essential to a child’s vocabulary as “yes” and “no.” The earlier you teach your kids polite words, the more likely they’ll be to use them in conversation.
Be patient with them
Your child may forget to say “thank you” when receiving a gift or use the wrong silverware at dinner. Instead of berating them for their mistakes, give them a gentle nudge in the right direction. Prompt them with questions such as, “What do we say when we accidentally bump into someone?” or “What do we do when we have food on our faces?” This gives them space to reflect on their manners and teaches them to show the same patience toward others.
Praise good manners
Kids don’t only like to hear when they do something wrong, so be sure to praise them when they’re polite. Tell younger children, “you did such a good job saying thank you for that toy!” For older kids, remind them that you appreciate how respectfully they acted toward the neighbors when you’re alone. Rewarding your children for good manners sends them a message that positive behaviors result in equally positive attention.
At Lake Forrest Prep, a leading private school in Orlando, we believe that fostering good behavior doesn’t stop in the classroom. For more resources about parenting, character education, and responsible leadership, check out our blog.