Ideas for Teaching Courtesy

By Marie Jones
E. J. Sanders/Demand Media

Courtesy is often associated with good manners and polite behavior. Courtesy means being aware and conscious of the people around you and treating them with respect, dignity and kindness. If you want to teach courtesy to a child, use various engaging ways to promote and encourage the courteous behavior you desire.

Behavior

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Demonstrate courtesy through your behavior. One of the fastest ways to instill courtesy in anyone is to show how beneficial courtesy is through proper behavior and kindness. When you practice courtesy regularly, it will become a habit and the people around you will enjoy your thoughtfulness. Courtesy can be as simple as holding a door or saying "excuse me" after a sneeze.

Reading

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Read a book out loud about courtesy. Select a children's book about proper manners and polite behavior and read it slowly. Ask children questions about the book as you read it to make sure they understand the material. Discuss specific scenarios from the book that illustrate courtesy. You might even help your kids act out scenes from stories to make the lessons come alive for them.

Role Playing

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Practice courtesy through role playing exercises. Create a variety of scenarios for children to practice courtesy. Possible activities include making introductions, answering a phone, receiving gifts, talking to strangers, and workplace etiquette. Give each child a chance to practice being polite. Practice each activity until your kids are comfortable being courteous in each situation.

Rewards

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Reward proper courtesy. Create a courtesy chart with specific behaviors you want your children to show, such as saying "please" and "thank you," sharing toys and taking turns. Offer small rewards if your child demonstrates courteous behavior. Possible reward ideas include a piece of candy, a sticker or a special privilege. Rewards offer incentives for more good behavior while letting the child know his efforts have not gone unnoticed.

About the Author

I am an English major at UH Manoa and love to write. I currently publish several articles a month in the Ka Leo newspaper in Honolulu, as well as for Associated Content. I am a hard worker and would love the honor of publishing for your website.