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The 3 Most Important Basic Manners for Kids to Learn

Hey parents! When it comes to raising polite, socially-aware kids, there are tons of manners you could teach. But realistically, no one has time for all that Emily Post stuff! The good news is you only need to focus on a few basic manners to raise respectful, considerate children. Here are the 3 most important manners for kids to learn.

Say Please and Thank You

Baby Hopper Rabbit saying "Thank you!" 3 important basic Manners

These simple courtesy words pack a big punch! Saying “please” when asking for something makes demands sound more like requests. Immediately following with “thank you” shows the person you appreciate them granting your request. These phrases demonstrate respect and gratitude.

Using please and thank you helps strengthen your child’s empathy and social skills. It clues them in to think about others’ feelings and needs. These words also nurture gratitude which supports mental health. Kids who regularly say please and thank you have an easier time getting along with people.

Excuse Me, Pardon Me, I’m Sorry

Baby Hopper using "excuse me", "pardon me", and "I'm sorry". These acts of common courtesy are another one of the basic manners

When kids bump into someone or make a mistake, “excuse me”, “pardon me” and “I’m sorry” are manners that smooth over social gaffes. Instead of getting offended when accidents happen, people appreciate these polite acknowledgements. Using them prevents friction and shows awareness of how their actions impact others.

Sharing with Others and Taking Turns

Kids demonstrating 3 basic manners kids need to learn, sharing.

For parents of only children, teaching sharing is essential! Playing with others means compromising over toys, activities, even parents’ attention. Model dividing things equally, taking turns, and negotiating compromises. Help them understand how their actions affect others and that they must balance their own wants with others’ needs.

Why Focus on These Basic Manners?

Mastering these simple courtesies paves the way for kids to:

  • Develop positive relationships
  • Consider others’ perspectives
  • Express themselves clearly and kindly
  • Resolve conflicts thoughtfully
  • Become helpful, caring individuals

The habits of using please, thank you, excuse me and taking turns become second nature when practiced regularly. They demonstrate that your child understands the importance of being respectful and considerate. Your polite little ones will have an easier time making friends and getting along!

Baby Hopper showing no basic manners

How to Teach Basic Manners

Instilling these important basic manners takes patience, consistency and creativity. But the effort pays off with well-behaved kids who grow into courteous adults. Here are some tips:

  • Model the manners you want your kids to use
  • Politely prompt them to say please, thank you, excuse me
  • Praise them when they use good manners
  • Play games that let them practice sharing and turns
  • Discuss examples of using manners in books and shows
  • Gently correct lapses in manners by providing the right thing to say

With friendly reminders, manners become habit. Eventually, your kids will use them automatically without prompting! Their natural politeness will make you proud.

Begin Teaching Basic Manners Early

The sooner you introduce these fundamental courtesies, the quicker they’ll become second nature for your kids. Keep it simple by focusing on please, thank you, excuse me and taking turns. Instilling these basics early helps ensure your children master manners that will serve them throughout life!

Suggested Reading:

References Used for This Article:

[1] Leer, A. (2022, August 2). The importance of teaching manners to children. Verywell Family.

[2] Shrand, J. (2022, June 13). 9 important social skills for children to learn. Verywell Family.

[3] Hans, J. (2021, November 29). How to teach your kids manners so they actually stick. Parenting From The Heart.

[4] Teach Manners and Respect. PBS Kids for Parents. Retrieved August 14, 2023, from

[5] Reeves, J. (n.d.). Why are social skills important? Brain Balance Achievement Centers. Retrieved August 14, 2023, from

[6] Manners for Kids. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved August 14, 2023, from

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