How to raise polite children to say "Please" and "Thank you" on their own


At the heart of good manners is a respect for oneself and others. When you say “thank you,” you’re taking the time to make the other person feel appreciated. When you ask for something, end your statement or question with “please.” This simple word conveys respect and graciousness.

A study by McCrindle Research says, “Manners have made a comeback, although the way parents teach them is new in some ways. Children are not taught good manners out of a sense of obedience to parents, but out of a sense of mutual respect and empathy for others. Gen X parents want children who can be assertive of their needs but also respectful." 

Things to remember when teaching manners to children...

Start Early

As soon as a baby is born, you can start to demonstrate that good manners and politeness are important, using words such as ''please" and "thank you" frequently. Children as young as two can learn to say “please” and “thank you.” Even though they don’t yet understand the social graciousness of these words, the toddler concludes that “please” is how you get what you want and “thank you” is how you end an interaction.

Role model polite behaviour

How do children learn their manners? They learn from watching the adults around them. This sounds so basic but it's true. The easiest way to get children to display certain behaviours is to do it ourselves…frequently. 

Recognise the long lasting benefits

 The very act of saying thank you puts us in a positive state of mind. "It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy" - Unknown.

Expect politeness from children

The more children see their parents or educators acting polite, the more they will do it on their own…even if you are not around. When an opportunity presents itself where children can display that they are grateful, pause, and see if they remember how to respond. If not, role model a polite response so that they are able to observe and maybe their confidence will grow for next time.

There are so many beautiful books that will help to make your job easier, enjoy!


Sarah Cameron