We all want to raise our little ones to be polite and well behaved, and learning those lessons starts at home. It's never too early to teach your little ones basic manners! Here are eight of the most important manners you should try to teach your little ones before they go to school. They won't remember them all, or get them right every time, but patience and perseverance should get you through:
1. Always say please and thank you.
Whether they're activities as small as giving your little one a snack, or them asking if they can play in the garden, always reinforce the importance of saying please and thank you. No matter how young your children are, you can't start enforcing this rule too early!
2. Table manners
When your tiny tots are just learning to eat at the table, start teaching them the manners you'd like them to have for the rest of their lives! Rules like not eating with their mouths open, or not putting their elbows on the table, are good life lessons for your children to learn as soon as possible.
3. Play dates
When you're little ones go on play dates, or to birthday parties, remind them to thank their friends parents for having them over. If you aren't going to be attending the play date or event with your little one, ensure your little ones know they should treat their friends parents (and all grown-ups) with the same respect they treat you.
4. Birthday party etiquette
It's often said that kids go wild at birthday parties - all the sweet snacks and fun can make little ones get excited, and sometimes forget their manners. But no matter how excited your little one is on their birthday, there are some manners they shouldn't forget: to open their presents thoughtfully (not ripping off the paper, or tossing the present to one side as soon as they've seen it) and to say thank you for every gift, and to every attendee.
5. Mind the language
There will come a moment every parent dreads: the moment your little one swears. And then finds it funny! The worst thing you can do in this scenario is laugh. Let them know that you already know that word, you think it's unpleasant, not funny, and ask your little one not to use it again!
6. Don't be mean
Kids tease each other, and they find it funny. But this can sometimes go a step too far and lead to bullying. Make sure your little ones don't call others mean names, and don't make fun of anyone for any reason. Ganging up on someone else is cruel, not clever.
7. Excuse me!
Once your little ones have mastered saying please and thank you, teach them to say excuse me. It's the polite thing to say when you have to interrupt someone, or bump into somebody.
There are some things that are too much information, and that your little ones shouldn't talk about in public! These include genitals, poo, nose picking, and all the other gory things that amuse kids!