Instilling Etiquette to Your Preschooler

Manners and etiquette are an integral part of human behavior that enables different individuals in a community to interact with each other without clashing and fighting. Manners and etiquette show that an individual has respect for others and that they do not mean to offend others in order to avoid unnecessary conflict.

Manners and etiquette are often taught in school during a child’s years in primary school. However, it would do one well to teach a child proper etiquette and manners as early as preschool. This will allow them to develop their manners and values earlier than others and will be able to incorporate proper manners and etiquette into their behavior.

However, the problem lies in how to educate a child, especially a preschooler, about the proper etiquette and manners they should practice. The answer lies within this article. And if you want to find out, then continue reading the rest of the article.

Importance of manners at a young age

Some might be questioning why one needs to rush instilling etiquette and manners to a child. Well, there are a few reasons why one should start instilling etiquette and manners to a child at an early age.

First, is that it will become ingrained in their behavior faster as young children are naturally faster learners compared to teenagers. This will allow them to become well-mannered at an early age and will continue to be well-mannered as they grow up.

Second, is as they mature faster than their peers, they will also become role models towards the other children in their age group. Being a role model is both a responsibility and a privilege as they will be able to influence their peers to be well-mannered as well.  

And lastly, is that they also become much more agreeable and will gain the favor of many people around them as they are deemed well-mannered and respectful individuals. This will allow their days at school or anywhere else to be better as they will not encounter a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings as they are well-mannered.

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How to handle your preschooler

Even if children of this age can be unpredictable sometimes, there are certain ways that a parent can instill proper manners and etiquette into their preschoolers. As long as the parent doesn’t give up and prepares a lot of patience, the parent will be able to handle their preschooler. Here are the top 9 ways to handle a preschooler:

1. Avoid saying “NO” all the time

Nobody wants to be around an individual that always responds to the word “no” in any conversation. Even as adults, it can be quite annoying to deal with an individual that always says the word “no”. Yet, that is exactly what a parent often does when a preschooler requests something from them.

By simply refraining from saying “no” to every request a preschooler makes, it allows the parent and child to grow closer together. It is important to establish a deep bond of trust and acknowledgment between the parent and child. This allows the child to listen to the teachings of their parents and take it as a lesson rather than the rambling of an adult that only knows the word “no”.

2. Let them know what is to be expected of them

One does not know what he does not know. This saying holds a lot of meaning not only in academics but in our daily lives as well. Adults are already aware of what they should and should not do as they have already been educated over the years about manners and etiquette. Young children hardly know anything about the real world yet, this is why they are not aware of how to behave in certain events.

It is important to inform preschoolers of what is to be expected of them beforehand so that they may act accordingly. You cannot expect a preschooler to understand fine dining when they only know how to use a spoon and a fork. Without someone to tell them what to do, they will continue to do what they are used to doing, which is to play around and not care about their surroundings.  

3. Speak in a calm tone

When speaking with a preschooler, or any child of any age, it is important to always speak in a calm tone to not frighten or scare them. even if they have committed a mistake, it will do no good to scold them angrily. This will only result in the child growing distant from the parent.

Speaking calmly, even when scolding a preschooler, allows for them to feel safe and take in the message of the words the parent has spoken.

4. Instill core principles

The next tip up our list is to prioritize instilling core principles rather than superficial ones. Core principles are what builds one’s character and are the ones that they carry on even when no one is looking. Principles such as honesty, industry, or integrity are a few examples of core principles that are important in shaping one’s character.

Instilling core principles at an early age will allow an individual to develop said principles as they grow up and will become a habit for them which is very difficult to throw away. Plus, learning core principles will allow one to behave better than those without core principles.

5. Give them a chance to negotiate

Preschoolers are notorious for throwing a fit every time they disagree with something. However, the reason for their tantrums is not well known. The reason preschoolers often throw a fit every time things do not go as they please is that they barely have any room to express themselves and negotiate.

Instead of forcefully bringing them home when they still wanted to play in the park, give them a chance to speak up and negotiate how much time they can play in the park. This will allow them to become aware that it is better to negotiate and resolve things peacefully rather than throwing a fit and not gaining anything.

6. Watch their language

An individual’s language greatly affects how others perceive their manners. This is why it is important to keep a sharp ear for a child’s language when you want to teach them manners and etiquette.

Children naturally learn at a faster rate than a teenager, and when they hear a new word which they find interesting, it can be easy for them to pick that word up and use it in everyday conversations. However, a problem arises when the word they picked up ends up being an insult or slur that might offend others. When this happens, it would be in the parent’s best interest to inform the child that what they are saying might offend others.

7. Give them warnings

Just like how children do not know what is to be expected of them yet, they also are not aware of what they should not do in certain situations. It would be pointless to get mad at a child for doing something inappropriate when they are not aware that such actions are not fit for a certain situation.

The best course of action to take is to give them warnings when they have done something which they should not do. This will inform them that the action they did is not good and will be able to refrain from repeating the same action again.

8. Reward good behavior

One of the best tricks to get a child to learn something faster is by incorporating rewards whenever they exhibit desirable behaviors. For instance, giving them snacks or praise whenever they are left in an office hall and behaved well will surely make them want to be even more behaved the next time that they get another chance.

Rewards serve as a driving force for an individual to repeatedly do the actions that led them to gain that reward. It is a natural psychological response that is very useful once one knows how to use it to its full potential.

9. Become an example

As children are not yet fully matured individuals, they often copy the actions of the adults around them. This is why the parent of a preschooler needs to become an example to their child when they want to teach their child manners and etiquette.

Since children often look up to their parents, it is necessary to become an example towards your child by being well-mannered yourself. Setting an example for the child will allow them to adapt to the actions of the adults around them and will become well-mannered individuals without them even noticing.


Did you know that parents are not the only adults that can influence and serve as an example for children? Teachers and tutors can also play a role in influencing the manners developed by a child. And while one does not have that much freedom to choose the teacher for their child, they do have the freedom to choose the tutor to provide private tuition for their child.

Lucky for you, the perfect place exists to hire highly-skilled, capable, and excellent tutors for your child: FamilyTutor. Singapore’s leading home tuition agency has thousands of tutors that will be able to become a good example for your child and provide excellent private tuition.

Want more Preschool-related articles? Check out our Preschool Tuition blog section now!



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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