Teaching kids manners? This list of list of manners and etiquette will raise a child with discipline and good character. Includes teaching manners activities, manners for kids games, how to write a thank you note, cell phone etiquette and more.
Teaching Kids Manners – Essential Etiquette and Practical Tips
Teaching kids manners is extremely important. When a child is well mannered, he or she knows how to behave and interact with others properly. They can make friends easier, be more successful in school and work, have better relationships with adults, and feel happier and more confident overall. It’s never too early (or too late) to start teaching your children good manners—be it on a playground during recess or sitting around the dinner table with the family.
Why is Teaching Kids Manners Important?
Teaching children good manners isn’t just about teaching a few phrases – it’s often about giving them tools for social intelligence so they’re able to communicate well throughout all aspects of their lives.
- Teaching kids manners teaches them how to interact with the world around them.
- Manners are about treating others well, and teaching children this will help reduce conflict with others because they’ll know how to get along better in social situations.
- Manners are about having respect for others and teaching children manners can help them see the world as a place where they’re respected too.
- It’s not just about showing up on time or using your words, it’s also making sure that you’re conscious of how people feel in the way you act toward them.
Essential Manners to Teach Your Kids
For a quick overview of teaching manners to kids, refer to this handy Guidelines for Good Manners chart from Thirty Handmade Days.
Learn the Magic Words
When you were a child, your parents and teachers probably taught you that some words were “magic words.” These were please, thank you, may I, and you’re welcome. These are still essential phrases every parent should teach young children today. They never go out of style!
To practice these skills for an upcoming holiday dinner or staying at a friend’s house, play this Yes Please, No Thank You Meal Manners Game from Happy Home Fairy.
Say please and thank you to service workers after receiving services or goods. This is especially important for kids to learn, because those who work with the public deal with a lot. Good manners go a long way toward making them feel appreciated.
Write Thank You Letters
No matter how old you are, writing thank-you letters is a way to show appreciation for gifts and gestures. It’s always good manners to take the time out of your day to write grateful messages back in return.
Nicole from Coffee and Carpool offers tips on writing meaningful and thoughtful thank you letters. She recommends that parents take note of gifts their children receive as well as who sent them; taking pictures of the child using the gift; writing the note on the back of the photo, and keeping the number of notes you write at once to five or fewer.
Another handy idea is using templates to help your child get their thoughts organized and on paper. Fantastic Fun and Learning offers three cute thank you note templates for Christmas gifts—one is blank, one is lined, and one has three boxes for drawing and writing.
The Suburban Mom offers a cute thank you template for teachers where young children can fill in the blanks and draw a picture of their teacher. It’s a great way for kids to show their appreciation at the end of the year.
Setting the Table
Setting the table is a skill that every kid should know how to do. It’s not difficult, and it teaches kids about organization and etiquette. The goal is to create an attractive place setting for your family mealtime.
These table setting placemats from Positively Splendid are an excellent place to start to teach kids who are just learning to set the table. Of course, tea parties, wedding receptions, and formal dinners are fancier affairs, so here’s a nifty diagram of informal and formal place settings from Simply Sprout to use for such occasions.
Be a Good Hostess – Practice with a Tea Party
Hosting a tea party is an elegant affair. You’ll have the perfect gathering with these Tea-rrific Tea Party Ideas! We’ve got ideas for everything you need to make your next garden party extra special—tea finger sandwiches, floral teacup centerpieces, and vintage books for display.
Hosting such events helps kids practice many different types of manners, including sending out personalized invitations, accepting RSVPs from guests, and mingling at gatherings. They’ll also practice proper etiquette when setting the table, eating with the correct utensils, and using good table manners.
Kids love answering the phone, but they don’t always use their best manners when doing so. Teach your child the proper way to answer the phone from an early age. You may prefer your child give a simple “Hello” or “Good morning” or a more formal “Hello, this is Chloe. To whom am I speaking?” response. Also teach children to answer the phone promptly, preferably before the third ring.
When it comes to teens and their phones, there’s a lot more cell phone etiquette that needs to be covered. This cell phone contract from Thirty Handmade Days is an excellent place to start. Teens must agree to always answer their parents, to never bring the phone to the dinner table, to never call or text anyone after 9PM, and other manners and responsibilities. Have your tween or teen sign the contract upon getting their first phone!
Don’t Interrupt Others
Kids are full of energy and curiosity, which is why they want to chime in on conversations. However, some kids have a hard time with self-control when it comes to interrupting others. More importantly, being interrupted can be frustrating for the person who was speaking, kids and adults alike. If you find yourself getting frustrated with your child’s interruptions, here are a few tips that may help:
- Teach your children polite phrases like “excuse me” and “may I please?” so that when they want people’s attention, they will politely say those phrases instead of just jumping in with an interruption.
- Wait to respond to their questions. Many parents tell their children to stop interrupting, but in the next moment, they respond to the child’s interruption anyway. This just makes it more likely for your child to keep interrupting. Wait for an appropriate pause in the conversation before you turn to your child and ask what they need.
- Teach “the squeeze.” Let your child know that when you are speaking to an adult, she can gently squeeze your hand to let you know she needs you. Gently squeeze her hand in acknowledgment to let her know that you’re aware she needs you, and respond to her as soon as possible.
- Take turns talking. Practice this skill with your children or have them practice with each other. No one can say a word until the speaker is finished talking.
Cover Coughs, Sneezes, and Yawns
Do you find yourself really grossed out when someone coughs or sneezes into the air? You’re not alone! Kids need to learn to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or with their arm if a tissue is not available. This keeps saliva and germs off hands. Of course, this will take some practice. A simple way for children to remember is with this short rhyme: “Cough or sneeze—cover it please!” Don’t forget to encourage them to cover their yawns, too, as this is the polite thing to do in the company of others.
Clean Hands Often
Keeping your hands clean is as much about manners as it is good hygiene. Kids should also be encouraged to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. This glitter germ activity from The Simple Parent provides kids with a good visual of how germs can cling to hands without thorough washing.
Manners may seem like a small thing, but they are key to making others feel comfortable and valued. With a little bit of guidance from parents or teachers, kids can learn the importance of good manners in everyday life.
WHAT’S TRENDING? Looking for a few engaging activities? Grab Minute to Win it Games – Traditional, Holiday, Group, and more! Use these fun activities in the office, classroom, or at your next birthday party.