We all want to raise our little ones to be polite and well behaved, and learning those lessons starts at home. It's never too early to teach your little ones basic manners! Here are twenty of the most important manners you should try to teach your child. They won't remember them all, or get them right every time, but patience and perseverance should get you through:
1. Greeting People
Always greet someone when they come over to your house. Depending on your level of formality, you can teach your child to shake hands with adults who come over, but it's not necessary to shake hands with other children. However, your child should always say, "hello" or "hi" when someone visits so that the guest feels welcome
2. Always say please and thank you.
Whether they're activities as small as giving your little one a snack, or them asking if they can play in the garden, always reinforce the importance of saying please and thank you. No matter how young your children are, you can't start enforcing this rule too early!
3. Table manners
When your tiny tots are just learning to eat at the table, start teaching them the manners you'd like them to have for the rest of their lives! Rules like not eating with their mouths open, or not putting their elbows on the table, are good life lessons for your children to learn as soon as possible.
4. Play dates
When you're little ones go on play dates, or to birthday parties, remind them to thank their friends parents for having them over. If you aren't going to be attending the play date or event with your little one, ensure your little ones know they should treat their friends parents (and all grown-ups) with the same respect they treat you.
5. Birthday party etiquette
It's often said that kids go wild at birthday parties - all the sweet snacks and fun can make little ones get excited, and sometimes forget their manners. But no matter how excited your little one is on their birthday, there are some manners they shouldn't forget: to open their presents thoughtfully (not ripping off the paper, or tossing the present to one side as soon as they've seen it) and to say thank you for every gift, and to every attendee.
6. Mind the language
There will come a moment every parent dreads: the moment your little one swears. And then finds it funny! The worst thing you can do in this scenario is laugh. Let them know that you already know that word, you think it's unpleasant, not funny, and ask your little one not to use it again!
7. Don't be mean
Kids tease each other, and they find it funny. But this can sometimes go a step too far and lead to bullying. Make sure your little ones don't call others mean names, and don't make fun of anyone for any reason. Ganging up on someone else is cruel, not clever.
8. Excuse me!
Once your little ones have mastered saying please and thank you, teach them to say excuse me. It's the polite thing to say when you have to interrupt someone, or bump into somebody.
Waiting their turn and not interrupting other people when they are speaking. No one can be heard if there are too many voices at once. Gently tell them to wait until someone is done speaking, and then ask their question. Be sure and give your child your full attention when you are done speaking so as to reinforce the positive behavior of waiting his/her turn. While children are patiently waiting, hold their hand or put your arm around them to let them know you are aware of their presence
10. Cleaning up
Whether at home or at a friend's house, always pick up after yourself. It's their mess, so they need to clean it up. If children leave a mess, then remind them that they need to clean up before the next activity can begin, and stick to it.
11. Good sportsmanship.
After playing a game (sports, cards, board game), no matter the outcome, be pleasant. If your child wins, tell him/her to not gloat or show off, but to be kind. If they lose, don't sulk or get mad, but be a good sport and tell the other child(ren) "good game" or speak well of them
12. Opening doors for others.
When going into buildings, allow elders to go first and open the door for them. When preceding others into a building, don't let the door slam in the face of those behind, but hold the door until the person behind can grab it. Also teach your children that if someone holds the door for them, then remember to say "thank you."
13. Exiting/Entering etiquette.
Elevators: allow those in the elevator to exit first before entering the elevator. Same with buildings or rooms - if someone is exiting the building or room through the same door you are entering, let them exit first.
14. Respect differences.
When people do things differently from your family because of diversity in culture, race, or religion, then teach your child respect. Point out how interesting it is or how different families do different things. Families have their own traditions or rituals, and it is important and has meaning for that family.
15. Knock Knock!
Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering
16. Use a hanky.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public
17. Help out.
If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.
18. Do Smile and help
When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile
19.Ask for things at the table
Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed
There are some things that are too much information, and that your little ones shouldn't talk about in public! These include genitals, poo, nose picking, and all the other gory things that amuse kids!