6 Simple Manners to Teach Your Toddler

BOYS. I have three of them, two of which are toddlers. We do have a daughter as well, but let me say this again — BOYS. If you are a boy mom, possibly the same thoughts come into your head when you hear that someone has three boys. CRAZY. WILD. DIRTY. Those words perfectly describe my boys. I so love them.

Along with the crazy, wild and dirty, one thing I will say about our toddlers is that they are extremely polite. I can’t say that this happened with our older two kids when they were toddlers, but these boys are actually well-mannered. I wish I could take all of the credit, but the majority of the credit goes to their preschool. We have always encourages manners, but it’s never been at the top of our priority list. Ever since the boys started this particular preschool, though, it’s been like they are new kids with sweet words coming out of their little mouths. (My husband and I often look at each other and say, “Did  he really say that??”)

Here are a few of the manners the preschool has taught our boys and that we are happy to help implement.

  • Manners 1 of 7
    simple manners

    Here are 6 simple manners to teach your toddler. 

  • Please 2 of 7

    PLEASE! Please let me go outside and play. Please read me this book. Or, my son's favorite... "Please give me chocolate milk." (Go ask your dad, son.)


  • Thank You 3 of 7
    thank you

    After receiving something, we prompt the toldder to say, "Thank you."

    • Thank you for changing my diaper.
    • Thank you for feeding me.

    People, I am kidding.

    It's just a little "Thank you" as a courteous response for being helped out. 

  • You’re Welcome 4 of 7
    you are welcome

    A "You're welcome" after someone says "Thank you." We make it a point to be grateful for the little things they do, like putting up their plate or helping pick up the toys. 

  • Sorry 5 of 7

    If only we could teach adults to say this when they do something wrong. Admitting fault doesn't come naturally to a toddler, of course. We will typically give a gentle reminder... 

    Izaiah hits Zeke. Zeke cries. Before Izaiah goes to time out... "Izaiah, what do you say???" "SORRY."

    It's not always said nicely and I have heard some parenting expert (wish I could remember who!) say that we shouldn't force people to say "Sorry." In our house, we do sorry. We also do forgiveness.

  • May I 6 of 7
    may i

    May I sounds so old-fashioned, but it's just downright polite. "May I go outside?"  "May I play on the iPad?"

  • Excuse Me 7 of 7
    excuse me

    This one is a constant work in progress, but we are getting there. The biggest peeve I have is my kids cutting other people off in the store. They are little, get under people's feet -- but the simple words excuse me just seem to make it better. 

    We are also working on this after farts and burps. Most of the time the excuse me is said very loudly and with lots of laughter... go figure.

I am all about letting my kids be kids. My parenting style is laid back. I don’t expect perfect angels, but let me say this… hearing my wild child come up to me and say, “Mommy, may I please have some milk?” and then say “Thank you!” after receiving it? That melts my heart and makes the fact he has colored all over my walls not seem AS bad.

We are still working on the manners at the dinner table — you know, not standing, using a fork and not eating like a dog.

Toddlers they are always a work in progress, never a bore and hold a special place in a mother’s heart. 

Do you do manners with your toddler?

Molly blogs technologyparenting and geekery at Digital Mom Blog and provides blogging tips at How to Blog Camp. Follow her on FacebookPinterest or Twitter.

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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