Teaching Good Manners

Teaching Good Manners



We are regularly complimented on Harrison and Alex’s manners. In both Graham’s family and my family, manners have always been important and we’ve hopefully instilled this into our children. Without prompting, they (usually) say please, thank you and excuse me. When crossing the road, they always say thank you to the crossing man. When getting off the bus they say thankyou to the driver. If they need to get past someone, they say ‘excuse me please’.

Teaching good manners to children is easy. If you start from a young age, it soon becomes natural and a part of everyday life, but here are some tips to start them off:

1) Model the behaviour – all the time

Sounds obvious, but you can’t expect a child to pick up and use manners if the adults around them aren’t using them. Most of us are polite 90% of the time, but admit it, sometimes at home we all drop the odd please and thankyou. We’re all guilty of it occasionally, but it doesn’t set a particularly good example!

2) Give them the vocabulary

From an early age, teach them the words they need. When they go to grab something, tell them to say ‘please’. They may not understand it, but you are adding the word to their vocabulary.

3) Role Play

Harrison and Alex love playing restaurants, shops, hairdressers etc – all perfect opportunities to practise please’s and thank you’s, excuse me’s and waiting your turn.

4) Correct and Remind

If they forget to use manners, remind them! An old favourite when children forget to say please is ‘What’s the magic word?’. Harrison is now at the point where a pause or certain look reminds him.

5) Praise

When they’re using manners, praise them. If we are out and about and a young child is being polite, I always compliment and praise them – they’re more eager to use them if they know they are appreciated, and let’s face it, everyone likes a compliment!


What are your top tips for teaching manners?


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34 thoughts on “Teaching Good Manners”

  1. Manners are very important in our family as well. It makes me very proud when people comment on the children’s good manners 🙂

  2. I have always said it doesn’t cost anything to be polite and have also instilled good manners in my children. We all eat together as much as possible (quite hard sometimes when you are gallivanting being a taxi driver for evening activities) but they have to ask to get down from the table, have to wait for everyone to finish etc. I just think it should be a part of parenting.

  3. I totally agree with you tips, it is so important to start at an early age with good manners, my girls now automatically use theirs and will say please and thank you etc, it costs nothing but is always remembered! 🙂

  4. We take good manners very seriously here, it makes me very proud to hear them being polite when we’re out and about

  5. great tips, one thing i can not boide by is un ruly un mannered kids, i hate it , i always ensure my children have manners wherever we go x

  6. Some great tips here. Really trying to get the please into Amelia’s vocab. She says ‘Ta’ for most things now but still screams at things when she wants them rather than saying please. It’s really hard as you want to give her the right thing but not if she’s just screaming for it. Hopefully she will get there soon. Good manners are a must for me!! Thanks for linking up #MummyMonday xx

  7. I’m the same, I’ve always taught my kids to be polite, say please and thank you etc. It was interesting when we had a teenage Spanish exchange student to stay last year and I had to explain to him about saying please and thank you too. It reminded me that it’s very peculiar to our culture to say please and thank you as often as we do!

  8. These are some really good tips. Children copy those around them so I think if parents act well mannered, then children will pick that up xx

  9. Good manners are something my children have been brought up to have and we are always praised for their manners – even the teens! Great tips

  10. My biggest tip is to remember that children mirror what they see at home.
    I know a couple who constantly bemoan that their 14-year-old daughter has an “attitude problem” – yet they shout at and swear and threaten her constantly.
    You can be firm and punish your child, but show them some respect.
    Fail to do that, and you will quite literally get back the treatment you are giving out. Kids get criticised for having no manners by people who are very quick to condemn young people – but they have no idea of what youngsters are dealing with at home. The cause is usually badly-behaved adults.

  11. Mine manage their manners very well in public – but are rubbish with me at home and have to be reminded! Still – at least they dont let me down when out and about I guess!

  12. My biggest tip would be to remember that children give back what they get. Even if you’re disciplining them, you can be firm and treat them with respect.
    People who criticise kids for having “an attitude”, being aggressive or using bad language need to remember that’s probably what they’ve been used to at home.

  13. great tips! it is so important to teach our children good manners. I teach my girls the pleases and thank you through role play too 🙂

  14. what a fantastic list for manners. We are huge into manners and discipline in my house and I get praised for my two but you have some great tactics here too. I will definitely try. So lovely to hear when your children have impressed someone with their manners isn’t it? Good parenting! Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  15. One of my biggest pet peeves is people with no manners. From birth it was always ‘ta’ and ‘please’ and my children are very polite now, to the point that they comment when people don’t use their manners to them! It is hilarious to watch their faces drop when they realise the kids are better with manners than they are.

  16. Seriously great tips hun!
    I’m very fortune that Hayden has picked up manners really well – Please, Thank you & You’re welcomes come very easy for my little two year old. He makes me so proud. Praising them when they do it helps so much.
    Thanks for sharing hun,
    Charlotte x

  17. Our of all the parenting advice or lessons you give to your children, manners is the easiest one. My kids are older now but often I get calls from other mums who have my kids over for a play (not really a play with an 11 yr old boy) saying how well mannered they are. Perfect I think and so they should be… not hard to teach really.

  18. I totally agree … Agent M was brought up with manners and has always known that “manners cost nothing” but lately he’s been forgetting them. Not sure whats changed but if he doesn’t say thank you he doesn’t get … hope he starts remembering them again soon 🙁 xxx

  19. Totally with you on this and we get complimented on Monkey’s manners too which I take great pride in. Such an important life skill I feel personally and we are currently working on please can I have, rather then want more, he is definitely getting there and like you say, repetition is key! Xx

  20. This is so, so true. Manners get you such a long way in life and it is something that I continue to ensure that I instil in Grace. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo and for being this weeks newbie showcase x

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