Children can be difficult. As they grow and start realizing that they are their own person, they start acting however they want. Raising polite and well behaved children is the ultimate goal of most parents, but it is easier said than done.

If you start at a young age, you can implement these manners and rules into your child’s life and make them become habits for your children. Habits are easy to carry throughout our lives, whether they are good or bad, so teaching your child good habits can help them now and in the future.

In our last blog, we gave you tips to teaching your kids manners starting at a young age. We gave you advice on how to best put these good behaviors into practice and help your kids learn why acting this way is important. At Yellow Brick Road, we teach your kids that their actions can affect how other people feel and help them prepare for the next stage of their lives, these manners can help them understand that good behaviors have good effects.

Once your kids hit the age of five, they should understand how to act politely in all situations and they should be able to think for themselves, without rebelling.

In this blog, we will talk about the things you should teach to your children as they grow older. These behaviors can help them become polite and well-mannered adults.

Interacting With Adults

At this age, your child should realize what polite actions look like and what they should avoid doing. When your children are meeting adults, teach them how to properly introduce themselves to others. Teach your children to shake someone’s hand and say “Hi, my name is…”

This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids to make eye contact with people when they are speaking or being spoken to. Kids often get nervous and feel bashful when adults are speaking to them, they cast their eyes down, turn their head away, or try walking the other way. While they will eventually learn that this is not a way to interact with people, teaching them these manners at a young age is a great way to get them practicing and mastering these skills by the time they reach high school.

Teach your children the polite way to address adults, using Mr., Mrs., and Ms. until they are told to call adults by their first name. Teaching your child this habit at a young age, allows it to become a habit, which they will use for the rest of their life.

Polite Actions

This is also an age that your children should be able to practice polite manners and gestures, from holding the door open to behaving in a restaurant.

Door Use

Teach your children to hold the door open for people. If you see someone with their hands full, point them out to your children and suggest that they hold the door open for them. This will help your child be aware of people around them and learn to hold the door open, not just for people with their hands full but for anyone close by. Practice with your children. Have them hold the door open for you anytime you run errands; as they say, practice makes perfect.

Another important lesson for your children to learn is how to knock on the door. This is important, not just when going to a neighbor’s or a friend’s house, but also when someone is in the bathroom, when a bedroom door is closed, or when someone closes the door to the home office. Knocking and asking to come in, will help your children learn privacy and not just barge into any room they desire.

Along with knocking, teach them to respect other people’s belongings and rooms, staying out of their stuff while they are not around.

Table Manners

Whether you are eating at home, having dinner at a friend’s house, or enjoying a meal out at your favorite restaurant, your kids should know how to behave properly at the table. At restaurants, coloring pages are always a good tool to keep your kids distracted while the adults talk and wait for their food.

Practice at home to sit quietly and be polite. Kids are not going to find adult conversation interesting, but they doesn’t give them permission to interrupt you. If they do, teach them that this is not okay and suggest they talk with their siblings instead. Home manners are not as important as manners at a restaurant or a friends house, but practicing at home will better implement these table manners and allow your kids to learn how to keep themselves entertained and behaved.

Many parents give their children their cell phones to help keep them entertained and reduce interruptions in conversations. But this only teaches them bad behaviors that they will assume are okay as they get older. Your kids should be able to sit and listen to your conversation and even add some input as they get older. Cell phone use at tables is a bad habit for teens these days, and teaching your child that it is acceptable to use them at the table at a younger age only makes them think it is okay as they get older.

Our last blog highlighted other table manners that are important to implement into your child’s life. How to properly use utensils and not eat with their hands is a great first step into the world of proper table etiquette. Along with this, some other important manners to teach your children at a young age, include:

  • Waiting to eat until everyone is at the table or has their food.
  • Not chewing with their mouth open.
  • Not talking with food in their mouth.
  • Using their napkin and not their shirt sleeve.
  • Not playing with their food.
  • If they don’t like something leave it on their plate rather than trying to give it to you.
  • Don’t climb on the table for the salt or pepper, but ask for someone to pass them to them.
  • Stay seated throughout the entire meal.
  • Excuse themselves if they need to use the bathroom or after dinner.

These table manners are important, not just for your kids to know, but for everyone. And teaching your kids these manners at an early age will help them develop these habits and use them as they grow older. Even as adults, we sometimes fail to follow these rules. Make them habits for your kids so they can have better table manners than many adults.

Lessons Everyone Should Know

Manners are not a new thing, and we have all learned how to act, the polite ways to interact, and why these are such important lessons to learn. Along with all of the other manners we have gone over in these last two blogs, there are others that are simple to teach and very important.

  • Many of us were often told “treat others how you want to be treated.” This is a great way to teach children how to treat their peers with respect. Do not make fun of people, pick on people, or call people names. Being nice to the people around them and treating everyone with respect is a great lesson for kids to learn and stick with throughout life.
  • Offer to help whenever possible. Teach your children to offer to help the host whether they are at a friend’s house or in your own home. They can help set the table, wipe off the table after dinner, or even put things in the dishwasher.
  • Show appreciation and gratitude. When they receive a gift, are served dinner, have someone help them with anything, or even after playing at a friend’s house, teach your children to be appreciative and show that they recognize a nice gesture.
  • Another lesson many adults forget: Put things back where you found them and leave something nicer than you found it. This teaches your children the basic rule of not leaving a mess anywhere they go.

Manners are one thing that can truly help your child grow and develop into a well-rounded adult. It is important to teach your children these good behaviors at a young age, allowing them to become part of your child’s character and becoming habits that they follow throughout their lives.

At Yellow Brick Road, we work hard to get children to understand their actions and how their affect other’s. Practicing manners can help them realize that these good behaviors do change their impact on others. You can help them learn these important behaviors at home and in their day-to-day lives.

If you want your children to have an education that focuses on teaching them life lessons and helps prepare them for the next stage, Yellow Brick Road is the early childhood development center for you and your kiddos! Contact us today!