Teach Your Kids Some Manners Please!


If I was ever asked what I would put into Room 101 I know what would be top of my list. People with bad manners! Drives me crazy. The people who never say please or thank you, don’t acknowledge that you’ve held a door open for them and then, in return, would let it slam in your face (usually when you are weighed down with bags, and barely a spare arm). Don’t even get me started on lack of manners when someone gets behind a wheel! I can feel the anger rising already.

Generally, I’m a fairly placid person, but I hate rudeness! There really is no excuse for it and I see it on a daily basis in the kids I teach. I know kids will be kids and they are quite often selfish little critters who only worry about what is going on in their lives, but I believe basic manners are so important.

This is an example of a fairly typical conversation in my classroom:
Pupil: Miss I need a new book!
Me: Do you?
Pupil: Yes
Awkward silence before one of the others (who has learnt from experience) prompts that they may need to ask for a book.
Pupil: “Can I have a new book?”
Me: “and what have you forgotten?”
Pupil: “please”

We get there in the end!

Sometimes I don’t even think they know they are being rude. It just doesn’t occur to them to use manners of any sort. My annoying quote to the kids is always “Good manners don’t cost anything, but they might make someone’s day a little bit nicer!” Which usually gets a few eyes rolled in my direction from those young ones who think they’re too cool for school.

I was brought up to always have good manners, and try to pass that on to O. My mum would visibly cringe if I forgot to say please and thank you. As a result, if anything I am overly polite. Seriously, going through the McDonalds Drive-Thru I’m conscious I’ve said thanks about 7 times in a 30 second order!

Ever since Little O had the vaguest awareness of what was happening around him, I have tried to reinforce the importance of manners. He has said Please (peas) and Ta for months now and is just moving onto Thank You. I know there will be times when he forgets but hopefully they’ll be a little voice in the back of his mind saying “remember your manners”.

Good manners are instilled at a young age and that has to start at home. As a teacher I see children with impeccable manners, luckily at my school this is the majority, and they are a delight. It also makes the kids without manners stand out so much more. It may seem a small thing, but I honestly believe it feeds into the type of adult they will grow into and having manners is a general awareness of other people, their feelings and treating them with respect. Surely we all want our children to grow into considerate and thoughtful grown ups, I know that’s what I want for my little boy.

So please parents, remember to teach your kids good manners. Thank you!


  1. January 29, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    There’s an interesting cultural side to manners, if you look at my family’s experience: my mum went to an English speaking school in Hong Kong, but when she came over she was still an outsider to English society and remains so, despite her attempts, today. She’s just never been able to crack the code of how Westerners behave with each other. She didn’t really get it with manners either, seeing their goal as making sure you didn’t offend anyone, or making sure you didn’t appear above your station – she can come across as unnervingly fake and over-formal rather than natural, which meant that it took me ages to work out how to crack the code of manners. For a long time it caused me such agony to have to ask anything of anyone that I wanted to get it out in as few words as possible, drawing as little attention to myself as possible.

    But manners shouldn’t be about being over formal. Once you get the hang of them, they are a social code of behaviour whereby we show that we appreciate each other and the things we do for each other. Looking straight at someone and smiling and saying good morning and please and thank you, and Would you… and Could I… all make a pleasant response from the other person much more likely.

    That’s what makes it so sad when you see people who don’t have manners, and don’t understand why it is that they elicit such an indifferent response from other people as a result. It’s a language that they don’t buy into, or don’t instinctively get. Including, in the past, me.

    • notafrumpymum
      January 30, 2014 / 6:51 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more that manners don’t need to be formal. I think it’s lovely when they are used in a more casual manner, sometimes makes it feel more genuine.

      Thank you so much for your very thoughtful comment.

      • January 30, 2014 / 9:56 pm

        That’s OK – I always look forward to reading your posts. I think it’s really interesting to see how your work and home life fit together, knowing lots of teachers as I do, and also I find it interesting to hear your views on bringing up children, seeing that you have experience of lots of other people’s children, because I think my own views have definitely been affected by this.

  2. Colette B
    January 31, 2014 / 8:51 pm

    How funny Jo I’ve got half a drafted post about manners too!

    • notafrumpymum
      January 31, 2014 / 9:01 pm

      It’s my total bugbear Colette! I hate bad manners xx

  3. January 31, 2014 / 9:19 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! I am a stickler for good manners, great post. I have shared on my facebook page πŸ™‚

    • notafrumpymum
      March 22, 2014 / 7:20 am

      Thank you so much x

  4. January 31, 2014 / 10:44 pm

    Have you got a new blog header or am I imagining it? Looks fabulous anyway! Manners are so important. We make sure that we teach our kids to say their Ps and Qs every time, even for simple things like “pass me the remote” or whatever. πŸ™‚

    • notafrumpymum
      January 31, 2014 / 10:49 pm

      I did it a couple of weeks ago (thanks for noticing!). Not 100% happy with it but an improvement on what it was. Bad manners drive me mad! Thanks for commenting x

  5. February 1, 2014 / 9:35 am

    Oh I am totally with you on this, I hate rudeness as I think it’s a sign of selfishness and a lack of consideration for others.When people/kids just don’t think about saying please or thank you, it’s because they often just don’t think about anyone but themselves. And I hate that. We were always taught ‘Manners maketh man’ and ‘do unto others as you would have done to you’ and that is what we will be teaching Monkey too. ‘Excuse me’ is my biggest bug bear actually, kids/adults push past without so much as an excuse me and it drives me nuts! Great post! πŸ™‚ xx

    • March 22, 2014 / 7:23 am

      Thanks, pushing past happens all the time at school and drives bonkers! A quick sorry would make the world of difference x

  6. ameliaappletree
    February 1, 2014 / 5:02 pm

    I agree completely. I think if you lead by example, children just pick it up – I rarely need to remind my daughter to say Please or Thank you. So many people just don’t bother though.

    • March 22, 2014 / 7:24 am

      O still quite often needs prompting, but I love it when he says “thank you mummy” without the nudge x

  7. February 1, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    I am constantly reminding my 2 and a half yr old to say please and thank you. Hopefully it will sink in one of these days! There is just no need for impoliteness.

  8. Notmyyearoff
    February 1, 2014 / 11:13 pm

    I always find adults the worst, everyone always seems to be in a manic rush these days. I guess that cascades down in some families. Little z will keep saying please thinking that’s the way to get another sweet out of me πŸ™‚

  9. February 2, 2014 / 12:59 pm

    I totally agree with you. We might not always sit down and eat together as a family but my kids will always finish off their meal by saying “thank you for my food” even if it was a take away pizza eaten in the living room!

  10. February 4, 2014 / 12:21 pm

    It is about what is normal isn’t it. We also sit at the table, say thank you to everyone (whether they laid the table, cooked the dinner, whatever part they played) and ask to be excused. And yes rudeness in driving really winds me up.

  11. February 6, 2014 / 1:05 pm

    Manners and morals- two things that I have got a lot of views on!!! I think it is really important to say please and thank you and sorry…I spend a lot of time on sorrys at the moment! x

  12. February 6, 2014 / 8:51 pm

    Its funny, we’ve always been very hot on making sure that JJ knows that politeness is important and he’s been complimented by others for being very well mannered in the past. I hadn’t thought about it before but of course the heart of it is that we’re teaching him to respect others and appreciate their efforts on his behalf and that will pay off as he grows up because he will be considering things in an unselfish way (hopefully) and that can only be a good thing.

  13. Super Busy Mum {Debs}
    February 14, 2014 / 9:02 am

    The lack of manners in children in this day & age makes me sad. Even my OWN children would occasional just…demand and leave off the most important part. I’ve started to ignore them until their little pennies drop and they regain the ability of politeness. Great post and thanks for linking up to #MMWBH xx

  14. shailajav
    March 22, 2014 / 12:31 pm

    Oh so true! Very relevant post. Wish more parents instilled politeness.

  15. Mummy Glitzer
    March 22, 2014 / 6:55 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! Bad manners drive me up the wall; Harry as always known to use “Please” and “Thank you”.

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