17 Forgotten Manners Every Parent Should Teach Their Child

Saying "please" and "thank you" is just the tip of the iceberg.

Little boy eating breakfast crepes with fruitsImgorthand/Getty Images

An important part of raising your child is teaching them good manners that they are able to apply not only around you, but also when they are on their own. Being polite can set your child up for success later in life. Beyond the basic “please” and “thank you,” you want your child to be able to show respect to their elders and know how to be a polite guest. Enforce these manners from an early age, and your child will catch on in no time.

  1. Teach your child to always say, “Please” when asking for something and “Thank you” when receiving something or someone has helped them.
  2. Teach them to say, “Excuse me” when you need they need to get through a crowd, bump into someone or want to get someone’s attention
  3. Teach them to not interrupt. Whether it be interrupting a conversation between two people that they are not a part of (unless it is an emergency) or when someone is speaking to them.
  4. Show them how it’s impolite to comment on other people’s characteristics or physical appearances, unless if it is a compliment. And parents, make sure you avoid giving these 8 compliments that are actually harmful to your child.
  5. Teach your child to always ask permission. It’s important that they understand if they aren’t sure about taking or using something, it is always better to ask first.
  6. Enforce the importance of gratitude. Show your child how to write a simple thank you note. Especially when they receive gifts in the mail, they shouldn’t be allowed to use the gift until they have properly thanked whoever gave it to them.
  7. Give your child a lesson in hygiene. Teach them to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze and to never pick their nose and always use a tissue.
  8. Teach them to politely respond when someone asks them how they are and to always ask the question back. (These signs indicate that you might be a toxic parent.)
  9. Tell them how important it is to respect other people’s privacy. Always knock on closed doors and wait for a response before opening it.
  10. Enforce the idea of table manners. Teach them to not reach across the table to get something, but instead ask if someone can pass it to them.
  11. Teach them to hold the door open for others if the opportunity presents itself and always say, “Thank you” if someone held the door for them. Don’t miss these parenting lessons from the happiest country in the world.
  12. Show them how to clean up after themselves both after play time and eating a meal.
  13. Teach them to show respect by standing and taking their hat off for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance.
  14. Tell them to always remember people’s names and to address people by their names when speaking to them.
  15. Teach them not to litter and how important is it to keep our earth clean.
  16. Tell them why it’s important to always have good sportsmanship whether you win or lose.
  17. Teach your child to take their shoes off whenever they enter anyone’s home.

Once your child learns these important manners, they’ll have the drive to become even more courteous as they grow up. Don’t miss these 10 other habits of parents who raise successful children.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.