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Manners That Matter: Early Childhood Etiquette

Team StoryWeavers|September 21, 2022, 12:02 IST|

Besides the academic curriculum, instilling manners is equally essential for childhood development. It contributes greatly towards raising a contented teenager and a well-spoken adult. The lack of this learning can create challenges when your little one tries to fit into a social circle. And during adulthood, making friends and navigating their path on the work front becomes tough. 

A child’s mind is like a sponge from birth to five years, where learning and absorbing come easy to them. Hence teaching them these basic skills from a young age allows them to process and make the said skills a part of their personality. It’s the cornerstone of raising an individual who can adapt to situations without any difficulty.

Here’s a guide on what etiquette’s are necessary and how to teach them to your child.

Help out 

In a house, there is a little something for each one of us to do, including your toddler. Yes, they could lend a helping hand too. 

You could divide the tasks into self-care activities, tidying up the house and helping out in the kitchen. It could be small acts like picking up toys after playtime, setting the table, placing clothes in the drawer, refilling water for the pet, packing their school bags, dressing for school, throwing trash in the dustbin or assembling and mixing ingredients of a recipe in the kitchen. 

Guidelines for parents to follow: 

  • Assign simple tasks such as ‘Bring me a glass of water,’ ‘place the dirty dish in the sink,’ etc.
  • Give them age-appropriate responsibilities like dusting, getting dressed, or helping you with gardening.
  • Repetition is the key- Make them do an activity that has to be repeated at regular intervals. Helping out an aged neighbour could be a good start.
  • Practice what you preach and be helpful

Being safe and sound 

It is vital to secure your child from harm’s way. Due to your child’s unawareness, many dangers pose a threat to their safety. The lessons on safety etiquette can be distinguished in these domains:

They should refrain from touching – hot, electrical, sharp, or medicinal – objects in the house. 

Safety inside the vehicle and around it- Don’t forget to switch on child safety in your car while travelling with a child. Teach them not to use the car underneath as a hiding place, car keys as a toy, and playing inside the car is a big no-no.

Dangers of fire- A matchbox and lighter are not playing objects. 

Road safety- Knowing not to run in a public street, being able to decipher road signs and traffic lights, not letting go of the adult’s hand, and walking carefully are a few essentials. 

Guidelines for parents to follow: 

These lessons can be taught through interactive lessons, safe play, the repetition of the safety rules and practising safety etiquette with them. 

Sharing is everything

A child who shares is learning a lot in the process- the ability to make friends, empathise, manage emotions, and wait for their turn. It helps curb the selfish streak at a young age. 

But knowing how to practice this act does not come naturally to a child because they cannot comprehend the differences easily. With step wise guidelines, being able to share should not be too hard for a child. 

Guidelines for parents to follow: 

  1. Incline your child towards sharing by encouraging them to exchange similar things. For example, they can exchange toy cars with one another.
  2. Slowly progress and start exchanging objects that are different in nature from one another. For example, exchange a doll for an aeroplane.
  3. Eventually, demonstrate to your child what it’s like to give their toy to someone and wait patiently until they get it back.
  4. Reading books or watching cartoons which depict similar scenarios can be used as illustrations.

Hygiene is a necessity

When a child knows how to keep themselves clean and well-groomed and tend to their basic needs, it instils self-confidence and self-independence in them. This takes them a long way in accomplishing their academic and occupational endeavours. 

Guidelines for parents to follow: 

  • There are nursery rhymes on hand washing and brushing for your child to read.
  • Using adorable toothbrushes and scrubs prompts them towards cleanliness.
  • To make the experience fun, you can play music while brushing their teeth or bathing, use child-friendly toothpaste or narrate stories to them.


Knowing how to use the appropriate phrases like ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ helps a child forge social connections. It plays a crucial role in helping one lead a harmonious life. These virtues also speak volumes about how you have raised your children and benefit them in their future relationships.

Guidelines for parents to follow: 

To successfully establish this virtue in your children, give these tips a shot: 

  • Respect your child’s wishes occasionally. It teaches them to practice the same. 
  • Include words like ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ in their vocabulary.
  • While correcting your child’s mistake, be reasonable and calm. 
  • Making them spend time with their grandparents teaches them valuable life lessons. 

Do let us know if these tips came in handy in the comments section.


About the Author

Coupling her love for children with a zeal for writing, Sonakshi pens down words to make even the smallest difference in the lives of young readers. She believes words are a powerful tool that, when used wisely, can bring about a positive difference. In her spare time, she likes to prop open a book, scribble poetry, or go out on long walks for any stroke of inspiration!

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