Raising a Polite Child: 5 Great Ideas That Help and 2 That Don’t

Posted by in No-Cry Discipline

A polite child with good manners doesn’t magically materialize. Kids need to be taught. And reminded. And then reminded again. Over time it will become part of who they are. But only with your gentle, consistent guidance.

You must decide that using good manners is important for your child to learn – and focus on teaching them daily.

Here’s What to Do to Raise a Polite Child

Tell your child exactly what you’d like to hear.

Rephrase what your child has said in the way you find acceptable, “What I’d like to hear you say is, ‘May I please have more pancakes.’”

Teach, don’t chastise.

Respond to lack of manners in a positive, teaching way, “It’s impolite to belch at the table, and if you do, it’s proper to say excuse me.” If your child didn’t know what the proper behavior was, you’re teaching a valuable lesson. If they did, you’re displaying your good manners as you correct them.

Don’t respond to bad manners.

Rather than overlooking an impolite request, look your child in the eye and say, “I’ll be happy to answer you when you can ask me politely.”

Model the behavior you’d like to see.

It’s easy for a parent to forget to use please, thank you, and excuse me when dealing with young children. Remember your manners. It’s good teaching, and it makes life more pleasant. So, replace, “Stop making that noise,” with “Please play quietly.”

Praise your polite child when you can.

Show your appreciation when your child is polite and remembers to use good manners.

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What Not to do to Raise a Polite Child

Don’t laugh at or ignore bad manners.

Sometimes it’s funny, I know. But laughing or ignoring blunders can encourage children to see dreadful manners as a source of humor or something not worth changing.

Don’t use those old school responses, “What-do-ya-say?” or “Where are your manners?”

These aren’t very polite ways to remind your child to use his manners. Instead whisper a quiet suggestion in your child’s ear.

Related article: Using the Magic Word when Parenting

Ideas from The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums & Tears

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