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6 positive ways to teach your child manners

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Teaching manners the easy way

Do your child’s manners leave a little something to be desired? From saying “please” and “thank you” to greeting guests when they come over, teaching kids good manners is an important part of building character. The good news is that teaching children manners doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Following are six positive ways to teach your child manners.

Mom thanking toddler boy

1Lay down the ground rules

Make sure your child knows exactly what is expected from him when it comes to good manners. Explain the differences between being rude and being polite and go over how you'd like him to behave. Don't foget to be specific!

2Repeat yourself…a lot

Repetition is the best teaching tool. So, on those occasions where your youngster does something that is improper or rude, offer a gentle reminder of the polite thing he should do next time.

3Give plenty of praise

Kids respond best to positive reinforcement, so give plenty of praises when your little learner does something right. Avoid scolding or nagging your kiddo and instead embrace the moment. Let him know that his behavior is commendable.

4Role play

Teaching your child through role play works with just about any behavior you'd like to explain, including manners. Acting out the etiquette you wish to see your superstar exhibit will both help him understand what is expected of him and give you both a chance to have a little fun.

5Point out the OTHERS' good behavior

Parents aren't the only role models when it comes to manners for children. Point out the courtesy and politeness that family members and others around him are exhibiting so he can see good manners in action.

6Reward good behavior

Set up a sticker chart to track his good manners. Then, reward his progress with a prize or privilege. The visual reminder will help him to stay on task while giving him a little incentive to perfect his etiquette.

Wondering at what age can you start teaching your child manners? It's never too early. And, the best way to do so is to lead by example. "A child's character is formed through spontaneous interactions with adults' characters," explains Elizabeth Berger MD, Child Psychiatrist and author of Raising Kids with Character, ElizabethBergerMD.com So, remember to set a good example by using manners towards others as well as towards your child. You'll not only be setting a good standard to follow, you'll be helping your child build good character!

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