Good manners are as attractive in children as they are in grown people.
A polite well mannered child is a delight to have around and is the sort of child that the parents of other children will enjoy having around their own.
And it is never too young to inculcate good manners in a child. After all if the child is old enough to speak, he or she is old enough to say ‘Thank you’, ‘sorry’ and ‘please’.
Manners are about thoughtfulness and consideration
It is not just about remembering to say thank you when someone gives you something or saying please when you want to ask for something. Good manners are also about being thoughtful and considerate about other people’s needs and wants.
For instance you can teach your child not to play a loud and noisy game in the room when you have a visitor who is not feeling too well; because it will only make them feel worse.
Or for instance you want to teach a child why you should not litter, explain why littering is bad: that it dirties up the place for other people who will use it after you.
Teach them to wait their turn because everyone is waiting for their turn and if everyone behaves in an orderly fashion, it is better for all concerned.
Be a role Model
Quite frankly it is difficult to tell your little fellow that it is not polite to dig his nose in public or burp in public when such uncouth behavior is common in your own home. So if good manners are to be taught they ought to be taught by example.
When for instance you go to the grocery and do your transaction using polite language and wait patiently for earlier transaction to be completed without being overbearing or impatient, it shows your child the right way to behave in those circumstances. It will also show him or her that polite well mannered behavior makes for pleasant exchanges between people, even strangers.
Coax them out of their Shyness
Sometimes a child will not greet people when he or she meets them out of shyness. If they did not say good morning to the visitor or they hide behind you when you wanted them to wish someone, it is often not from obduracy or cussedness.
In such cases it is best not to force the issue at the time or to berate the child for being tongue-tied in the presence of strangers. Explain later, that it is a good thing to wish people because “you should let them hear what a lovely voice you have” or similar.
The lesson of good manners is well learned and one learned for life.