Teach Your Toddler To Be Polite

toddler tantrums thumb Teach Your Toddler To Be Polite

Toddlers aren’t always polite. In fact, once your baby grows up a little and becomes an opinionated toddler with a personality of his own, there will be times when you will feel uncomfortable and embarrassed by some of the things he says.

Asking you why the man in the supermarket is so fat, or why the woman in the street is in a wheelchair is your toddlers way of discovering the world around him: but that doesn’t mean you’ll be any less embarrassed when it happens! Excitable toddlers are also prone to snatching, raising their voices, and forgetting to say please and thank you. But don’t worry. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll find it’s easy to teach your toddler to be polite:

Demonstrate good manners yourself

Your toddler learns everything from you, so it stands to reason that if they see you getting ill tempered or forgetting your good manners they will replicate this behaviour. This means you have to get into the habit of watching what you say and how you behave, even when you’re frustrated: easier said than done! It’s also important not to argue with your partner in front of your toddler. Toddlers naturally raise their voices, and by arguing in front of them, you are teaching them that raised voices are the best way to get what you want.

Another thing to try and nip in the bud sooner rather than later is any swearing or cursing in your house. If your toddler hears words you’d rather they didn’t say, it’s likely that they will quickly pick them up. Definitely not what you want to hear your little one say in the street or at their nursery group!

Get everyone involved

Anyone who has regular contact with your toddler such as their grandparents, should be kept informed of what lessons you are trying to teach them. If, for example, you are trying to ensure they always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ make sure the grandparents emphasise this lesson whenever your toddler spends time with them too.

Nursery staff and those working in other early years jobs that have regular contact with your little one will be used to dealing with these situations. Again, let them know what messages you are trying to impart, and ask them to reinforce this. If everyone in your toddlers’ life is reinforcing the same message then your toddler will quickly learn that good manners are standard behaviour that everyone, including them, should adopt.

Say hello and wave goodbye

Often toddlers are naturally shy, and will hide behind you when the time comes to meet new people. However being able to meet and greet new people is an important part of having good manners. Your toddler should be able to say ‘hello’ when he meets a friend or relative, and tell new people, especially other children, his name.

Praise him when he does this without prompting, and remind him why his behaviour is so important. For example ‘Thank you for being so polite, that’s the best way to make new friends’. However don’t reinforce good manners with gifts or treats: you want your toddler to learn that good manners are a normal social convention, not an easy way to earn a reward.

Be patient

Adopting good manners isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. Like all new lessons, it may take your toddler a little while to get used to these new rules. And toddlers are learning so much every day that they don’t always retain everything they are told. Be patient. Be prepared to gently remind him to use his manners every time he forgets, and expect him to forget frequently! 


Tor Brierley is a freelance writer who has written for Yahoo, Nursery World Jobs, and gurgle magazine.

email Teach Your Toddler To Be Polite
PinExt Teach Your Toddler To Be Polite


  1. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you will be
    a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and
    will eventually come back later in life. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great posts,
    have a nice weekend!

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers! I wish all the best to your project! Btw, it seems that you like movies, so you must know that The Dark Knight Rises has just been released to the big screen.

  3. Yea, your introduction stated it correctly. Just like my nephew. He always talk too much. He don’t even know how to be shy now. He’s so different from when he was only 3years old.

  4. It’s important to praise them, it would build up confidence in them. The good manners need to be planted from the early age so that when grown, it has already been part of their personality.

  5. It’s not easy to teach a Toddler but if you have perseverance and Patience you can be successful teaching him to be nice person. Guiding him in every thing he do is the best so he will know whats right and wrong.

    • You are right about that. Toddlerhood is a short period but a crucial one and parents have to be a lot patient than they think they are :)

Speak Your Mind


This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)