'Thank You' spelled out with colourful wooden cubes

Politeness is one of those traits that parents want their children to have. They want them to say please and thank you when they are with other people, as these are the two very basic forms of politeness. However, there are many more forms of politeness beyond basic manners, and parents may want their children to display more than just basic politeness.

How Can Children Be More Polite?

  • They can turn up at an event or arrangement on time.
  • They can let people know promptly whether they are attending their birthday party.
  • They keep a commitment when at the last minute they have changed their mind.
  • They can call someone rather than texting when they have something ‘big’ or ‘upsetting’ to say.

All of these are ways to be more polite. These behaviours take into account other people’s feelings and not just their own. So it can cause problems when they don’t abide by these rules. If your child is not doing all of these things, get them to think how they would feel if their friends called them to cancel plans last minute or turned up late for them. It is quite rude and shows little respect. It could also potentially be upsetting if nobody responds to them for a birthday or special event.

If your child wants to act in an impolite way, ask them how they want to be seen by their friends? They probably won’t want to be seen as unreliable, uncaring or just disinterested in their friends. At the very least it could cause problems in their friendships and, at worst, could end them.

Politeness to both friends and family is key to the same behaviour being reciprocated. Children need to treat others as they would want to be treated. Politeness starts at home. Teach children to be good communicators, commit to the things they want to and stick to their decisions, pick up a phone to talk and be on time for arrangements.

The-Parents-Toolkit by the Kids Coach, Naomi RichardsFor more help with life skills pick up The Parent’s Toolkit which addresses many essential life skills children need.

More Resources to Help Children with Friendships and Relationships

[Published September 2020 | Updated June 2024]