Can You Teach a Toddler Etiquette? You Bet.

Smiling mom and toddlerEtiquette is all about building good relationships. So children need to learn how to act in ways that are respectful, considerate, and honest – the fundamental principles of etiquette and building strong relationships with family and friends.

But how young can we go? Can toddlers learn concepts like respect and consideration? While toddlers may not understand principles and concepts, children this age can learn some basic behaviors that are fundamental to developing strong relationships.  Most three year olds, for example, are able to understand that sharing and caring make the other person feel good. They know this because they can see the smiles that sharing and caring bring.

A smile is concrete.  Toddlers can see the results of positive behavior in the smiles.  And they can identify with the feeling they get from making someone else smile –it makes them smile too.   It will take much patience, repetition, and good modeling on your part to teach your toddlers to share and care.  But hang in there. It’s well worth it.

6 comments to Can You Teach a Toddler Etiquette? You Bet.

  • Thanks to your post I dont seem like an idiot. I had a disagreement with someone and this proves I was right. Thanks!

  • Lori

    Wow! Thank you for posting this. In our family, we have always introduced the concept of saying please and thank you around the time that the children were able to ask for things that weren’t necessities, i.e. treats and toys. Even though they could only signal by means of gestures or indistinct gurgling, we made sure they knew how to respond. There have been some people that said we were odd for doing this and that they’d teach their kids to be polite later (BTW I’m still waiting for them to start and they are full-grown) People constantly tell our family how polite the children are, I think it may be because it’s rarer than it ought to be.

  • Undoubtedly my mind drifted back to the famous words, “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it..”.

  • Marcia Bradley

    Glad to find this site – and to see the word “modeling” in the post. We are the mirrors for our children; modeling is a powerful tool, what it looks like, sounds like and feels like, with lots of practice brings results with any child. Showing instead of just telling is so powerful for learning – thanks for helping many families.

  • I recently came across your article and have been reading along. I want to express my admiration of your writing skill and ability to make readers read from the beginning to the end. I would like to read newer posts and to share my thoughts with you.

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