Via Everyday Family: 10 Manners Your Kid Should Know by Age 5
Kids are never too young to learn manners. In fact, in a day and age when we are seeing more teenagers lacking in the manners department, it seems more important than ever that parents start early in teaching their children how to interact with the world. The truth is your child will get further in life and will be more respected by adults and playmates alike if they learn manners.
Whenever I see a child without a clue about how to act in public or how to interact with adults, I immediately blame the parents. Very young children are not just developmentally ready, but eager to learn how to appropriately engage with others socially.
How to say “please” and “thank you”
“‘Please’ and ‘thank you,” in the words of Barney the Purple Dinosaur, “truly are the magic words.” And this little tidbit of mannerly behavior can be taught even before your child is able to talk. Making “please” and “thank you” a habit in the home makes these courtesies a habit in life.
How to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough
Spittle flying from little noses and mouths is just plain gross. Trust me: teachers appreciate children who know this before they get to school.
How to ASK before taking
There is nothing more disturbing than a child who hasn’t yet learned that they aren’t the center of the universe. Children should ASK before taking something that is not theirs, and this includes Mom and Dad’s stuff.
How to say sorry: for real
Not the kind of “I’m sorry” that means nothing because they were forced to say it by an angry parent. Empathy is definitely a life skill.
How to say “Excuse me!”
Children are naturally impatient. Far too often, you see parents who jump every time their child interrupts them. Children need to learn when they can and when they cannot interrupt people, they and should learn how to gently say “excuse me,” rather than insist on incessant tapping and saying “Mama, Mama, Mama.”
How to sit quietly
It’s rude to talk through an entire movie. Kids need to learn how to calm down their wiggles and giggles in less-than-interesting situations. Patience is a definitely a virtue.
How to eat at the dinner table
OK, so my dinner table is at times pure pandemonium. Still, my kids know how to use their cutlery and how NOT to talk with their mouths full. And when we are not at home, manners are a must — even for my 5-year-old.
Not to make fun of people
Toddlers and young children are notorious for pointing out gigantic moles or fat people in public, but parents must teach children that sometimes comments like these hurt feelings unnecessarily. It’s not nice to make fun of people or point out their flaws.
How to be helpful and compassionate
Hold a door open for someone that has their hands full. Ask their teacher or parent if they need help with chores. Recognizing ways to be helpful and compassionate to others is a gift that children can learn early in life — a gift that will make them feel good about themselves and be well liked by others.