Manners are very important when interacting with other people in our society. It is something that almost all of us get taught at a very young age. Kids' minds are like sponges, after all: they tend to soak up everything, whether we want them to or not.
They also learn by example, so it is best to start teaching children different manners early on. According to reports, around the time a child reaches 18 months, they are able to start understanding that there are certain acceptable “social graces.” This means that before a toddler is two-years-old, they can start learning some important manners. Continue reading to see 10 things to start teaching kids early!
10 Saying Please And Thank You
Saying please and thank you should be two necessities of life. It is not just kind and polite, it is also usually much appreciated by the person on the receiving end. Children should be taught and shown by example the appropriate times to say please and thank you while they are still very young.
Perhaps, when your child asks for something, you could start by prompting them to say please when they want something. Then prompt them againto say thank you, after you have given them what they wanted. You could also try leading by example and always saying those two phrases yourself so that your child will start to grasp these concepts better.
9 Don’t Point And Stare At People
It is always valuable and beneficial to teach your children that it is not polite to point and/or stare at people from an early age. Helping to teach your kids that every person in the world is born different in their own way can help them learn acceptance and compassion toward others.
To add to this subject, it would also be a good idea to introduce them to the concept that, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Perhaps try explaining that pointing and staring could really make a person sad since it might hurt their feelings. Plus, not to mention, it is also very rude.
8 Saying Sorry And Excuse Me When Necessary
Along with teaching your child to say please and thank you, it would also be a good idea to teach them when to say sorry and/or excuse me when necessary. If they were to want to get by someone, saying “sorry, excuse me,” would be appropriate.
Another example would be if mom is talking to someone and they have something they needed to say, simply saying, “mom, I’m sorry but excuse me I have to tell you something,” could also be very appropriate. There are so many times in our lives that we have had to say those two simple words, so learning them early is always a very good thing.
7 To Respect Their Elders
Kids should always try to be mindful of how they treat and speak to their elders. This would include their parents, grandparents, babysitters, teachers, older citizens, and so on. If a child is screaming in someone’s face because they aren’t getting their way, that could really be seen as disrespecting their elders or caretakers.
They can be taught about respecting people early on even just by watching mom or dad interact with others. Children often learn by seeing and doing, so it is important for parents to set a good example for their little ones.
6 Be Aware Of Others’ Personal Space
It’s always a good idea to teach kids about personal space. Not only is it a sign of respect, but it also can help keep kids from running up and trying to hug or get too close to strangers. Plus, teaching your kids about “stranger danger” can help keep them a bit safer!
The sooner you start teaching your child about being in others personal space, the sooner they will be able to grasp this concept. Some people start to feel uneasy when people get too close to them physically, even some children.
5 Helping To Clean Up
Part of having polite manners is to help others clean up, especially if you were the one who caused the mess in the first place. So, while your child is still young, it is important to instill in them the importance of cleaning up messes.
To help get your kid more interested in cleaning, maybe you could try creating a silly clean-up song that the two of you can sing when it’s time to pick up messes and straighten up the house. Teaching kids to help clean is an invaluable tool that they will take with them throughout the rest of their life.
4 Not To Interrupt When People Are Talking (Unless It’s Important)
One aspect of manners that sometimes feels like it has been long forgotten is the concept of not interrupting others when they are talking, unless it is important. It is seen as being rude. That is why parents should try to teach their kids that interrupting others isn’t polite while they are still little.
This will also be a way for parents to incorporate other manners such as saying sorry and excuse me. However, parents should try to explain to their children that interrupting is okay when it’s important or an emergency.
3 Not To Cause Physical Harm To Others
Kids can get feisty and sometimes purposely cause physical harm to another child or even at times an adult. From a very young age, kids should learn that hurting others is not okay or acceptable behavior. When they do scratch or bite someone, they should immediately be prompted to meaningfully apologize to the person.
Children really do have the capacity to learn manners much sooner than some people realize. Some children learn before they are two-years-old; around 18 months.
2 When To Use Their Inside And Outside Voices
When thinking about the manners you should try to teach your child early on, you may want to consider adding when they should use their inside and outside voices. This means that when a child is inside, they shouldn’t yell and scream as if they were still outside, and when they are outside, they should be able to get rid of some of that boisterous energy and talk louder than normal.
When your child starts screaming inside the house, you could tell them that when they are inside, they shouldn’t yell and that they should talk lower and use their inside voice.
1 Learn And Remember People’s Names
It is not mandatory to learn and remember people’s names, but it is considered to be polite. According to Lyuba Konopasek, the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical Center, “for infants, the degree of exposure really counts.”
This means that the more an infant sees someone and hears their name, the easier it will be for them to start learning and remembering it as they get older. If a child sees someone once a week, there is a good possibility that they will remember that individual's name and face by the time they are 6 to 9 months old, but if the baby were to see that person every day, it may only take a matter of weeks before that person becomes recognizable.