Baby Blessings Preschool - happy children

Early Childhood Education: Why is Teaching Good Manners Important?

Baby Blessings Preschool - happy children

Early Childhood Education: Why is Teaching Good Manners Important?

Helping young children learn appropriate and polite behaviour enables them to form good manners and is an important part of early childhood education.

Early Childhood Education - Teaching good manners

Helping young children learn appropriate, polite and considerate behaviour enables them to form good manners and become more socially attentive as they get older.

There are many benefits in teaching good manners to young children. Every parent loves to hear from other parents, teachers, or their own parents, how polite and courteous their children are.

Raising Children who are Polite?

Early Childhood Education: Model Good Behaviour

We need to model good behaviour for our children as an important part of children education. This may sound like common sense, but we must never overlook how much children emulate the behaviour they see from us. Start with the essentials.

Pleases and Thank You’s
  • Say “please” and “thank you” throughout the day. Say it to the children. Say it to your spouse or to the sales clerk in the store. Make sure the children hear you use these words several times all throughout the day.
  • Encourage them to use the words too. Remind them when needed. If a child says, “Get me…” or “I’ll take…”, remind them to ask properly, using words like, “May I please have…” instead.

Everyone feels good when they are thanked, even for small things like passing the mustard.

Be Patient

It may take a while; these changes don’t happen overnight, particularly if they are new to a routine. But gentle (and repeated) correcting and asking children to restate their requests will reap worthwhile results.

Teach Gratitude

Teach gratitude

There’s more to teaching manners than just words. Gratitude and politeness are valued traits in our culture.

When children express their appreciation for things that are done for them or given to them, they:

  • feel better about themselves
  • begin to see themselves as recipients rather than “takers”
  • develop a sense of empathy as they recognize that other people are going out of their way for them.

Without such expressions of gratitude, children become self-centered and take for granted all that they have. People who use “please” and “thank you” regularly come across as gracious and thoughtful, both admirable qualities.

Start Early

Children as young as 18 months old can learn the fundamentals about manners by being taught to say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate, even if they do not understand the reasons for being polite.

When we model appropriate table manners, such as no elbows on the table and saying, ‘Please pass the salt,’ children ultimately absorb the teaching and use these manners too.

Another early childhood education idea is to role play good manners with children, using dolls or puppets. It can sometimes be fun to let them be the parent and you act as the unruly child.

Continue as Children Grow

For older children, acceptable manners consist of knowing what to say when someone gives them a gift—even before they open it, what to say when they are introduced to a new individual, what to say when they answer the phone, what they can do or say if they don’t like something they’re served for lunch.

After a while, the reminders won’t be needed. As a child matures, he or she will remember appropriate manners and need less guidance.

What a beautiful trait to instil into the lives of your children!