10 Good Manners That Every Kid Must Be Taught

If there is one thing parenthood has taught me, it’s that if you want your kids to grow up to be these amazing, well-liked people, you yourself have to be an amazing, well-liked person! Because the moment your kids come along, everything changes full-scale. Where I could take a lot of my mannerisms for granted earlier (like not saying ‘Thank You’ or ‘Please’), I could not continue being the same ill-mannered person in front of my kids.

Initially, I thought that my kids’ ‘rude-itude’ (rude attitude) was intentional and they were just being kids. Then one day, my 3-year-old asked our house help to ‘Just Shut Up’! That’s where we decided to draw the line and do something about this problem lest it became a deep-seated issue. Thereon, my husband and I started monitoring everything that came out of our kids’ mouths and started disciplining them with rewards and punishments. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but slowly these good manners became an integral part of who my kids are as individuals, and I must say I’m impressed at how well-behaved they’ve become now.

Following are some of the good manners and etiquettes that are thoroughly important to reinforce in a child, to raise them into polite and kind adults! Hope they help you.

  • Always say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ when asking for something – Kids shouldn’t feel entitled, at least not till it becomes a harmful, rude behavioural aspect that no one likes. This is one of the first manner lessons I taught my kids and thankfully, it stuck around.
  • Respect everybody and everything – While growing up, my mom always told me that ‘respecting your elders’ is THE most important thing in the world. While I agree with her (for the most part), I also believe it’s of paramount importance to respect those younger than us as well as people who work for us (like our house help or the gardener). Resultantly, my kids have now become these super-polite individuals and I could not be any prouder.
  • Ask ‘How are you’ back when someone asks you the same – Most of the times kids do not understand what ‘proper behaviour’ entails! So, whenever relatives would visit us, I would make my kids ask them how they were doing as a sign of respect. This etiquette practice has certainly gone a long way towards turning them into civil kids!
  • Do not comment on people’s physical aspects – My daughter’s 8th birthday party turned into a Drama movie sobfest when my then 2-year-old son called one of his sister’s friends ‘FAT’. It took a box full of doughnuts and a very distressed parent to calm her down and get her to the party again! The funniest part? My son didn’t even realise his mistake! So, we sat him down and told him it was RUDE to say anything about anybody’s physical characteristics unless you mean it as a compliment. He’s learning to hold his tongue gradually and I’m quite proud of the progress he’s made.
  • Always ask for your elders’ permission – This particular manner was pretty easy to incorporate in my kids’ behaviours. Because of the reinforcement of the manner, both of them have developed the habit of asking for our permission before doing anything (going outside to play, eating a cookie before dinner). It’s also important to teach kids to ask for the permission of other adults in the room in case the parents aren’t there at that time.
  • Say ‘Thank You’ to friends’ parents after hanging out at their place – This basic etiquette might seem totally trivial but it goes a long way in making you a well-mannered person with an insane amount of humility! Right from the start, I taught my daughter to always thank her friends’ parents whenever she visited their house. I was beaming with happiness when one of the moms texted me ‘Your daughter is so polite, Naushin’ the other day!
  • Always knock before entering someone else’s room – While it may be all right in your own house to just show up anywhere unannounced, other families may not like it. That’s why kids must be taught to ALWAYS knock and enter. It’s a very basic manner that some adults also lack, hence, should be instilled in kids from a young age.
  • Watch your language – We have a ‘Penalty Jar’ at home for every time someone uses foul language or any sort of profanity in the house. Swear words and obscene language completely put me off. When my kids started socialising, they picked up certain expletives that were highly offensive! While scoldings and threats such as ‘No TV time’ worked like a charm on my kids, I needed that Penalty Jar anyway for the overgrown manchild in the house (my husband). Thankfully, my house has now become a ‘No Cuss Word’ zone!
  • Cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing – Not only does this habit prevent bacteria circulation among kids, it is an awesome manner to teach your kids! Along with this habit, I also taught my kids not to pick their noses in public as it is a gross thing to do and nobody wants to be friends with a nose-picker.
  • Do not interrupt when two people are talking – A very basic etiquette that parents often tend to overlook! This may not be applicable on most kids, however, is a highly annoying mannerism. Instead of scolding the kid, explain what they’re doing wrong, it’ll foster a healthier development and the etiquette will stick around in their behaviour for a long time!
Young girl wearing a white top
Another helping of that Chocolate Pudding, please?

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, you may not always find the time to teach your kids every single etiquette there exists. However, you can start with the small things and consciously reinforce them, so that your kids turn out to be polite, kind, and well-rounded individuals.

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