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It’s hard, but developing your kids’ manners beyond Please and Thank You is critical. And like so many other things, getting kids into the habit of using manners at an early age makes things much easier in the long haul.  Here are the top 11 most important manners for kids and the reasons why they are important.

  1. Say please. This shows consideration for others.
  2. Say thank you. This demonstrates appreciation and gratitude.
  3. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. It’s a good way to show respect for the other person.
  4. Apologize. It shows empathy and that you are taking responsibility for your actions.
  5. Smile and have a good attitude. This makes everything better for yourself and others!
  6. Make small talk. This is an important social skill for friendships and, later in life, getting and keeping a job.
  7. Ask questions of others. This shows interest in others’ ideas and feelings.
  8. Say excuse me. This shows consideration for others.
  9. Look for opportunities to compliment others. This makes others feel good and helps with reciprocal relationships.
  10. Share. This shows others you care, and helps you to think of others, makes you appreciate what you have.
  11. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Covers all bases!

While many of these seem like common sense, kids don’t know what’s expected of them until you explain it. Make your expectations clear, and then model it yourself so they can see these good manners for kids in action.

Try to model the kinds of behavior you want to see in your kids – they are paying attention, even when you don’t want them to!