Mary Anna Thomas

21 Forgotten Manners Every Parent Should Teach Their Child

In the past, it was frowned upon to challenge elders, not to send a thank-you note, and to forget to say please and thank you. But, these days, it seems that good manners are lost in younger generations, which frustrates many of us. We take a look at 21 manners children don’t use anymore but need to learn. 

Saying “Please and Thank You”

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Saying “please and thank you” is one of the first things parents teach children when they start talking, but it appears some have missed the mark. Some studies have shown that children who are brought up with these basic good manners are more likely to show gratitude when they are older.

Excusing Themselves

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Like saying “please and thank you,” children should be taught to excuse themselves when they need to interrupt a conversation or if they accidentally bump into someone. Saying “excuse me” shows they are considerate of others and aware of their surroundings.

Using Proper Table Manners

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While there are signs that the American family dinner is still an important part of life, some children are not taught proper table manners. Children need to be shown how to use utensils properly, chew with their mouths closed, and avoid talking with their mouths full.

Being Mindful of Others

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Children are more likely to act with kindness and consideration when they are mindful of others’ feelings. Some adults feel that parents allow their children to do what they want, often hurting others. 

Showing Respect for Elders

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Parents can nurture children’s ability to empathize with others and understand different perspectives by teaching them to respect elders. They’ll learn to appreciate elders’ contributions to society and the importance of valuing their experiences.

Being Honest

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Teaching children honesty is a crucial aspect of their moral development. It instills in them a sense of integrity and accountability for their actions, so when children lie, they lose the trust of those who matter most to them.

Being Gracious

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Being gracious is important to a child’s social and emotional development. It helps them show empathy and teaches them how to handle successes and setbacks with dignity. This is a stark contrast to children who grow up to believe they can get anything they want and are rude to others when they don’t.

Being Helpful

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Parents should always encourage their children to be helpful to one another to nurture compassion and a sense of responsibility towards others. Some people think that children should be allowed to do what they want and that they can help others when they’re older, but these traits need to be taught from a young age. 

Being Apologetic

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We tell children to say sorry all the time, but not all parents teach children to show they are sorry. Simply saying the words is not always effective, as children need to understand what they have done wrong and how they can truly make others feel better. 

Being Forgiving

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One of the best pieces of advice for children is to be forgiving. Forgiveness allows them to let go of resentment and anger, which can often fester and affect their overall emotional well-being.

Being Grateful

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According to many adults, one of the most common problems with children today is that they are not grateful. Children learn by observing the adults in their lives, so parents should demonstrate gratitude, whether it’s thanking their child for helping with chores or expressing appreciation to others for their kindness.

Being Responsible

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Involving children in age-appropriate household chores is a great way to teach them responsibility and teamwork. Parents can start with simple tasks like setting the table, putting away toys, or making their bed. As children grow older, they gradually increase the complexity of their responsibilities and will not struggle as much with adapting to the workplace. 

Showing Independence

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Research by Mott’s National Poll on Children’s Health showed that encouraging children to be independent fosters self-reliance and confidence. It allows them to take ownership of their tasks, solve problems independently, and feel capable of managing their own lives. Independent children are also more likely to respect the boundaries of other children and adults.

Encourage Confidence

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Confidence is a foundation for self-respect and emotional well-being in children. Believing in themselves makes them better equipped to handle challenges, embrace new experiences, and navigate social situations.

Showing Kindness

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Children learn by observing the adults in their lives. When adults demonstrate kindness, whether holding the door for someone, helping a neighbor in need, or paying someone a compliment, they are great role models for children. 

Being Empathetic

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Helping children to show empathy allows them to recognize and appreciate the feelings of others, even in the most challenging situations. This compassion can motivate them to act with kindness and support towards struggling people rather than feeling overwhelmed and walking away. 

Being Cooperative

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Cooperation encourages teamwork and collaboration in children, whether at home or at school. It allows them to recognize the value of working together and appreciate the contributions of others to achieve shared goals.

Asking for Permission

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Kids today are often accustomed to instant gratification. Asking permission might seem unusual, but it’s a crucial life skill. From borrowing a friend’s phone to using your parent’s car, seeking permission shows respect for others’ belongings and personal space.

Sending Thank You Notes

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Most people see ‘thank you’ notes as a thing of the past, but some are encouraging children to get on board with them. The notes don’t have to be long hand-written letters with a few simple lines or a picture to say thank you so somebody will show children how to appreciate others. 

Respectful Table Talk

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Talking about religion or politics at the table has always been taboo. While it is unlikely that children will talk about these topics, it’s important to let children know that certain topics should be talked about away from the dinner table (in a child’s case, it will most likely be topics on poop).

Waiting Their Turn

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We have all been frustrated at people cutting the line in the grocery store, and these people have likely been overstepping their boundaries their whole lives. Children should be told to wait their turn to foster patience and respect for others. 

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