#CLEMama: 10 Ideas for Raising Polite Kids

#CLEMama: 10 Ideas for Raising Polite Kids

- in 2020 Editions, August 2020, Magazine, Parenting
Photo by Sara Carnes

Something that’s been on my mind is raising polite kids. In the business of life, we don’t always have the time or energy to focus on teaching our kids manners, how to be polite or how to interact with others. 

Maybe it’s because we’ve been around one another a lot more recently during these months of quarantine, and I’m noticing things I may not have noticed before. I mean, we all know the basics — please and thank you — right? Those are super important, but for the most part I think we have those covered. It’s when we dig into manners and what they mean a little more that we can uncover some great things to teach our kids in addition to what I call “manner basics.” 

What things get our kids noticed for the right reasons? How do you raise a well-liked kid? What are some things we can teach our kids about talking to people, being polite and having good manners that will help them stand out? I decided to poll my friends on Facebook, and I got some great ideas. Here are 10 suggestions I’d like to share.

1. Keep negative opinions to themselves (unless they’re with close friends or family).

2. Not to interrupt adults when they’re talking — but if they need your attention, “Excuse me” is the right way to get it. This one takes patience, too.

3. Respond when adults ask them how they’re doing. And then ask the adult how they’re doing, too.

4. Write thank-you notes for gifts and gestures.

5. Order politely at a restaurant. (Mom and Dad don’t always have to do the ordering.) 

6. Help the elderly if they see an opportunity.

7. Thank their friends’ parents for having them over after a play date. 

8. Have respect for themselves and others. Google doesn’t know everything. 

9. Be nice to everyone. If you see someone playing or sitting alone, talk to them. 

10. And last, but certainly not least: cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. 

Another opportunity we noticed during homeschooling and quarantine was teaching our 9-year-old how to write polite emails (address the email, write in the proper tone and sign off). 

Of course, probably the most important thing we can do as parents is set a good example. Am I right? How do our kids see us treat strangers? And family? Did we remember to say thank you? Remember, we set the standard. 

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