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Top Tips for Raising Polite Children (Part 1)

By Janet Adetu

  1. 1. Demystify what Manners are:

Manners are a way of behaving that is expected of you, which shows respect for others and proper conduct. Teach your children what standards you want in your household, classroom, campus, educational institution and make them compliant. Parents give your children a foundation that speaks to good upbringing.

  1. Yusuf and Zahra alongside their mum, Aisha Buhari and sisters
    Yusuf and Zahra alongside their mum, Aisha Buhari and sisters. File photo

    Meeting & Greeting:

This is a basic activity that should come naturally as an act of politeness. Teach these steps:

(a)       Stand up

(b)       Keep your head up

(c)       Smile

(d)       Say Hello (Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening)

(e)       Address correctly ( Ma, Sir)

(f)        Correct eye contact

When meeting

(a)       Say your name

(b)       Say something about yourself

(c)       Be first to greet

(d)       Say goodbye when leaving


  1. Magic Words

“Manners are priceless but the lack of it can cost millions”

Start with yourself and make magic words a part of your vocabulary.  In raising polite children have the following words engaged in their daily conversation skills.

(a)       Please

(b)       Thank you

(c)       Excuse me

(d)       No thank you

(e)       You are welcome

(f)        Welcome

(g)       Yes please

(h)       Pardon me

Magic words complete your request for help, permission and favours. Without magic words your request is incomplete. Test your children, ask them how many times they used the word “please” today.

  1. Conversation Skills

Teach your child to speak up and speak out whenever they are talking or being spoken to. The first strategy is to always look up with direct eye contact, they are traits of a successful professional. Other steps include:

(a)       Show interest

(b)       Speak clearly

(c)       Listen attentively

(d)       Respond with confidence

(e)       Ask questions

(f)        Avoid bragging about themselves


  1. Helping Hand

Teach your children to always offer a helping hand well before they are asked. When mum or dad look like they could do with help let them be there to assist. Help around the house is always needed. A polite child can ask if help is needed in the kitchen, cleaning the car or cleaning the house.


Responsible Thinking

Teach your child to be responsible for their actions and to be mindful of the decisions they make. The act of right or wrong in a skill, which takes discipline. With the right foundation and a strong idea of what is acceptable at home and what is not. Hopefully your child will desist from being easily influenced or cajoled into doing what they would not normally do.


  1. Shake off Laziness

There is nothing wrong with domestic help at home to assist you with your children and the welfare of your home. It becomes a problem when your child is completely dependent and reliant on that            person, such that they cultivate a lackadaisical attitude to life in general. Avoid situations where a poorly kept room is condoned because the housekeeper will take care of it. Clothes on the floor, wet towels scattered, socks and shoes in disarray is a sign of laziness that can grow out of control. Assign periodical chores that must be performed to instill discipline and proper acts of behavior.

  1. Table Manners

Teach your child proper conduct at the table.

Basic skills include

(a)       Sitting Position

(b)       Use of cutlery

(c)       Eating composure

(d)       Conversation skills

(e)       Being nice at the table

There are dining etiquette skills that professionals can teach your child. These traits bring out the true polish of a child. It has been said that the best place to see the level of panache is by the way they dine. Let your child not be found wanting.

Watch out for more tips next week!




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