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Teaching Toddlers Basic Manners

Updated on May 31, 2011

Seven Basic words of mannerly behavior

Manners are something human beings do everyday, millions of times a day! Atleast anyone who has any etiquette training tries to demonstrate manners! But we can never assume that others are familiar with the most basic of manners.

Yet manners are something that are taught and emulated at a very young age. If a child grows up in a home where manners are important then they just become a part of that person's lifestyle. But many people either discard manners or feel they are not worth retaining if they are exposed to others who make fun of such boring niceties.

Pity is many of those who throughout their upbringing don't use manners come across as crass and uncouth for simply not utilizing such basic training in etiquette. There is nothing complicated about learning to say, please, thank you, your welcome, yes, no, Sir or Ma'am, hello, goodbye, and others.

Although anyone at anytime can be taught basic manners it is always easier to start when a child is young, even younger than a toddler,which is between two years old and four years old. Amongst all the things that they are trying to learn in this period of development it is best to make sure that they understand that manners are important in your household and to them.

Manners according to Wikipedia has to do with sociology, an unenforced standard of conduct which demonstrates that a person is proper, polite and refined.

Remember what is considered mannerly behavior is different for everyone since we all have been brought up by our own family with their own traditions on what should or should not be done.

Yet most of the western world follow the example of the old English empire and what they say is the protocol for mannerly conduct. Like anything else manners have a long list of rules or laws that designate how one is to behave in any situation.

The truth of the matter is many of them are obsolete but are still socially viable in what environment they are called for, and if necessary.

Basic manners are also known as common courtesy! The five basic manners that are easy to teach and practice are please, thank you, yes/no Sir or Ma'am and your welcome, oh hello and goodbye are vital as well.

Where to start

Always start with yourself! Children learn from their caregivers, those people who spend the majority of the time with them. Whether you think of it or not, small children are always learning. Teaching them is as easy as Simon says, without Simon saying! 

Kids learn best through following the leader. Toddlers especially are watching everything and everybody around them. But whoever is the principal caregiver or nurturer is the one that influences them the most.

If that person is you lead by example. When asking for something say 'please'. When you receive something remember to say 'thank you'.  When you are greeting someone remember to address them accordingly.

Be the leader that demonstrates. Children have more respect for grownups when they know that they do what the say and lead by example. Have fun!


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