4 Smart Ways to Teach Your Child Good Manners

When I was a kid, I really didn’t like hearing stories about how disrespectful kids are “these days.”  I won’t go into detail about when “these days” were, but let’s just say that kids today are still struggling with the art of good manners.  As this is such an important topic vital to our children’s success as adults, I’m excited to partner with JIMMY Patterson Books to discuss ideas for ways to teach your child good manners!

4 Smart Ways to Teach Your Child Good Manners

Working in the education field, I interact with children of all ages and I often find myself wondering why many find it so difficult to say “Please”, “Thank You” and “Excuse me.” I’m not asking them to tip their hats when I walk into a room or practice any out-dated notions of “seen and not heard,” but when they practically run me over while trying to get past me in hall, a little bit of common courtesy and manners would be nice.

I also realize that the environment kids live in is different than it once was, so some of the ways my parents and grandparents taught manners have changed. Here are a few more modern ways to raise kids to have good manners:

Let them hear stories about children with manners. Sometimes this is on television, sometimes in person, and sometimes in print. A great book about manners is Give Please A Chance by Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson. The vividly illustrated book gives examples of scenarios where the word “Please” makes a huge difference.

4 Smart Ways to Teach Your Child Good Manners

It’s a really cute story about an often forgotten word. I think the book would make a great stocking stuffer for a little one who might need a little reminder every now and then. Manners are learned at a very young age!

Reward them! Life is always a little bit sweeter with rewards. When your child shows great manners, tell them what a good job they did and give them a reward. The reward could be anything – letting them choose the vegetable for dinner, a little extra playtime, or another healthy activity goes a long way.

Keep a kindness chart or jar. For every time they get “caught being good”, make a note and put it in the jar or put a sticker on the chart. When they get to a certain number, give them the reward you decided on above. There are lots of creative ways to do it. For example, I know a family with a couple of children that draws a gumball machine on a piece of paper at the beginning of the week. When they’re “caught”, the child gets a sticker inside the globe of their gumball. At the end of the week, the one with the most stickers gets to choose the game for family game night.

4 Smart Ways to Teach Your Child Good Manners

Lead by example! Hold doors for people with arms full of packages. Say “please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me” when you should. Show courtesy and respect to strangers. Don’t be nasty to cashiers and restaurant servers. A lot of times we’re rude without even thinking about it. As much as children have lost their manners, I think adults have to a certain extent too. Instead, show your children how to express kindness and generosity to other people. As my mom would say, “I know you were taught better than that!”

Manners and basic human decency aren’t gone. They’ve just been de-prioritized. (Is that a word?) Start making it a priority again for you and your children, and you might just find that people start treating you differently too!


By Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson ~ Release: November 21st, 2016

In this inspired collaboration, bestselling authors Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson remind us all that a single word—”Please?”—is useful in a thousand different ways. From finding a lovable stray dog to needing a partner on a seesaw, from reading a bedtime story to really, really needing a cookie, Give Please a Chance depicts scenes and situations in which one small word can move mountains. With a vivid array of illustrations by seventeen different artists, this charming, helpful book is a fun and memorable way for children to learn the magic power of one simple word: please.

About the Authors of GIVE PLEASE A CHANCE

Bill OReilly Author Photo
Bill O’Reilly currently serves as the anchor of FOX News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, the most watched cable news show for the past 14 years. His books for children include the Last Days biographies, The O’Reilly Factor for Kids, and Kids are Americans Too.

James Patterson Author Photo

James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. A tireless champion of the power of books and reading, he has created a new children’s book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: “We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say, ‘PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.’”

For more information:


Thanks to the polite folks at JIMMY Patterson Books, one (1) Rural Mom reader will win a GIVE PLEASE A CHANCE Prize Pack that includes:

  • a copy of GIVE PLEASE A CHANCE
  • a $50 Visa gift card.

Give Please A Chance

US addresses only.
Prizing provided by JIMMY Patterson Books.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 Smart Ways to Teach Your Child Good Manners

How do you give “please” a chance in your home?  Do you have special tips and tricks you use to teach your child good manners? 

Disney Princess box, Disney Princess Subscription Box, Disney Pleybox, toys, toy subscription, princess subscription

About Barb Webb

Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.


  1. shelly peterson says:

    I teach by example and if they aren’t polite and say please they do not get what they are wanting.

  2. jalapenomamamn says:

    What works best for us is setting a good example.
    The kids tend to follow through with this.
    thank you
    form name Barbara Montag

  3. Margaret Smith says:

    We set good examples for our children everyday. We also praise them when they are polite.

  4. Stephanie Phelps says:

    I tell them before they can have it they have to say please and then thank you afterwards and it works! I also say it to them if they have something I need or want!

  5. Brooke Allen says:

    My kids generally have decent manners, but I have a funny story about when my daughter was really little. She said to me “Thank you means ‘Yay! I got it!'” I thought it was funny.

  6. Julie Wood says:

    I teach by example and teach my kids from an early age to say please and Thank you. Setting a good example for my kids really helps with teaching good manners!

  7. No tricks or anything special, we just remind them to always use please and thank-you.

  8. We lead by example and teach the importance of good manners

  9. We try to be very polite in our everyday life, and it is the example. Kids need to be reminded, especially when it is something between kids!

  10. I teach them by being a good example and saying please every time I ask my kids to do something

  11. Cynthia C says:

    I lead by example and remind them about good manners when they forget.

  12. elizabeth miller says:

    We teach by example and have cues with them when they forget. Sometimes the cue may be a look or maybe us saying hmmm…seems you forgot something.

  13. I always just remind my children of good manner and to always be on their best behavior.

  14. We teach kids politeness by leading as examples and reminding them when they forget.

  15. Seyma Shabbir says:

    I teach please and thank you by example! Kids get so excited and sometimes forget but a gentle reminder is helpful.

  16. Please is used in our home daily just by habit and respect.

  17. We teach by example, and prompting when it’s needed.

  18. Debbi Wellenstein says:

    To expect good manners from children, parents must model good manners.

  19. We really do not have any tips or tricks, but try to lead by example. We always remind him if he forgets his please and thank yous.

  20. I frequently remind my niece to say please and thank you and try to set a good example for her by having good manner myself!

  21. My tip is to always remind my kids that they will get a better response from people when they say please and thank you.

  22. Before I give them want they are asking for I say please, also when I ask them to do something I say please.

  23. I use American sign language to teach my nonverbal autistic son how to “say” please when he wants something every day. We always say please and thank you all the times, so my son can understand the concept!
    Thank You!

  24. Susan Smith says:

    I teach please and thank you by example.

  25. No kids of my own, but I always model good manners with my niece & nephew.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

  26. No special tips or tricks, but when my kids were young and now with my grandkids “please” and “thank you” are two of the most important words. As my father-in-law says “good manners never go out of style”.

  27. I like to lead by example.


  29. Leading by example is the best way to teach kids. Gentle reminders help too.

  30. Francine Anchondo says:

    Leading by example.

  31. Some of the first things we taught our children was to say please and thank you. We have always done it ourselves and they pretty much picked it up from us.
    Laurie Emerson

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