By preschool, there are some basic manners your kids should be pretty good at. These manners don’t appear overnight! What feels like second nature to you, your child is learning for the very first time. Start teaching your child manners early, modeling polite behaviors and reinforcing your kid’s manners with praise, and be patient.
How to Teach Manners
Teaching manners starts by practicing them yourself. Demonstrate good behaviors and point them out when you and your toddler see them in others in public, on TV or at daycare. When your toddler or preschooler remembers to use their manners, let them know you noticed with lots of praise.
If your little one forgot a please or interrupted an adult, gently remind them what the correct behavior is. Write or draw your family’s most important manners, or the ones your kids are struggling with, on a board. Display it in a place where everyone can see it (the kitchen is a good idea) as another way to help kids remember to be polite.
You can easily incorporate manners into fun activities. Role play polite conversations with stuffed animals and dolls. Duck, duck goose is all about waiting your turn. Lots of other games can be used to teach and reinforce preschoolers’ manners as well.
Manners Preschoolers Should Know
As your kids get older, their idea of “politeness” will become more complex. As toddlers and preschoolers, however, being polite is about specific behaviors. Try to instill these manners in your children as they approach preschool age.
- Say please and thank you, both in person and with thank you notes.
- Use no thank you.
- Avoid interrupting and say excuse me.
- Greet people with hello and say good bye.
- Be nice by avoiding mean names, teasing and commenting on physical appearances.
- Knock on closed doors.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Use table manners.