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What manners should you be teaching your child now?

March 2, 2016

By Jessica Vician

What manners should you be teaching your child now? | A child holds a thank you chalkboard while his friend gives a thumbs up.

Think about the first manner that your parents taught you. It’s hard to pinpoint, isn’t it?

Likely “please” and “thank you,” these small but important manners are critical to forming friendships, succeeding in your career, and even making society function.

The three manners listed below are a starting point to teaching your child respect and gratitude, which will stay with them for their entire life.

Please, thank you, and excuse me.
When asking for something, your child should always start or finish the request with “please.” When the request is granted or denied, he or she should say “thank you.”

It’s especially important (and a little more difficult) to teach your child to say “thank you” when their polite request is denied. For example, let’s say your child asks Grandma for some candy, and she says, “Not now. It’s too close to dinner to have candy.” Your child should respond with a “Thanks anyway, Grandma” sentiment, demonstrating respect for Grandma’s authority and gratitude for the consideration.

“Excuse me” is also an important phrase for your child to learn. He or she should use it in public if accidently bumping into anyone or needing to go around someone. Your child should also use the phrase if he or she wants to join or politely interrupt a conversation of adults or kids.

Say hello to adults when you see them.
When your child goes to a friend’s house, he or she should greet the friend’s parents and any other adults in the house before rushing to play.

This action reinforces the importance of respecting one’s elders, being a good guest in someone’s home, and teaches them mature behavior.

Send thank you notes.
As adults, it’s refreshing when someone goes out of their way to truly thank us.

So when an adult or friend does something nice for your child—has Olivia over for dinner or takes Aiden to the amusement park—they should write a heartfelt thank you note and mail it or deliver it in person. (You can help if your child’s handwriting isn’t quite developed yet.)

The act of expressing thanks teaches your child to be grateful, to not take these actions for granted, and also develops his or her writing skills.

These are just three of the manners your child should start practicing and mastering now. After all, aren’t respect and gratitude exactly what this world needs more of?

What are you teaching your child right now? Share with us in the comments below.

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