How to Teach Kids Basic Manners

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Have you ever been around a kid with absolutely no manners, and you thought to yourself that you would never allow your child to behave that way? Well, there is actually a good chance that child’s parents thought the same thing! Many parents want their child to have good manners, but they don’t know where to begin. Well, now that you are a parent, you may be finding that teaching manners is not as easy as you thought it would be. If you find a nanny who knows a thing or two about this topic, it sure is an added bonus.


Can babies really be taught manners? Absolutely! You may be surprised at just how much your baby absorbs when you speak. Make a point to say please and thank-you when you speak to them, whether you think they understand you or not.

If your baby is grabbing at the dog, don’t just stop them; teach them how to gently pet him. If they scratch at your face, teach them how to touch softly. They will learn that the gentle actions receive praise.


The “Terrible Twos” do not have to be as horrific as everyone leads you to believe. You can expect to not recognize your child from time-to-time, and even swear that sometimes their head completely turns around in circle and fire shoots from their eyes, but a few short episodes of tantrums is far better than dealing with two years of undesirable behavior!

The key to teaching manners at this age is repetition. Toddlers will not pick up on what you want from them right away, so you have to constantly repeat it. Even if they “get it” once, does not mean that they will remember an hour later. Their mind is like a sponge; it is constantly absorbing valuable information. So, something you taught two hours go has now been replaced with how beautiful the butterfly was that flew by or the new toy they were just introduced to on the television.

Parents need to be hands-on during this period, and if they can’t be, they need to make sure they hire a nanny who is capable of instilling their expectations. Now is the time to require please and thank-you in their vocabulary, and you should be teaching them “excuse me” before interrupting. This is easy to do by leading by example. If they see and hear you do it all the time, they are more likely to follow your example.

4 – 9-years-old

It is very important that children be taught to make eye contact long before they go to school. Along with this should be a proper greeting, stating with their name, with a handshake. This small act helps to build self-confidence; it is something they will use for the rest of their life.

During these years, table etiquette should be taught as well. When you see children throwing food on the floor or running around in a restaurant, you can’t help but wonder how they act at home. Some parents look shocked at their behavior, but are you really to believe that they have table manners at home and only act up at the restaurant? It is very doubtful.

Do yourself a favor and make sure your nanny is well-versed in proper table etiquette, and they will be sure to practice at every meal.

10-years-old and Up

By now, kids should have a firm grasp on basic obedience, and what is expected of them. However, with the popularity of smartphones, texting and social networking platforms, a new type of etiquette must be touched on. They should know that texting is not acceptable at the dinner table or in school, and that they should always proofread emails and Facebook posts out loud before sending them. Make sure that you hire a nanny who will enforce your rules. If they are not allowed to go on Facebook until their  homework is done and checked, they should be following this rule when you are not home as well.

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  1. Susan Cooper says:

    Good advise. It’s not easy to do but the rewards are so worth it in the long run.

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