7 Manners Children Should Master by the Time They’re 10 Years Old

(Photo: iStock / Susan Chiang)

There is no better feeling than receiving a compliment on your child's behavior while you're out in public. It’s every parent’s dream to have children who are polite and considerate. Manners go a long way toward this goal and helping them get along with others.

When it comes to teaching manners, most kids will pick up on their importance as they watch and listen to you throughout the day. If you model good manners and a respect for others, chances are good your child will easily put these good habits into practice. 

By age 10, your little one is usually able to have a good grasp on these seven basic but oh-so-important manners.  

Saying “please” and “thank you”

As soon as your child can ask you to fill up their sippy cup or insist on wearing a Daniel Tiger sweater, they should be able to add “please” to their request. With practice, it should be just as simple for them to include a “thank you” afterward.

Waiting your turn

It's sometimes difficult for kids to understand they need to wait. But this skill can be helpful in so many scenarios--whether it's waiting to interrupt a conversation or waiting for their turn with a toy. Gentle reminders can help reinforce this behavior. It’s one that will continue to develop as your children get older.

Using an indoor voice

Establishing a "no yelling indoors" rule is essential. Trust me, your child’s future teachers will be thankful. Understanding the time and place for certain activities isn’t always easy for them to master right away, but the patience and practice will pay off. 

Proper table manners

Encourage your children to practice some basic dinner time manners: chewing with their mouths closed, not talking when eating, using a napkin, and sitting still in their chairs. With our busy schedules, it may seem easier to let these slide in favor of making it to your meeting on time, but following through will make mealtime more pleasant for everyone.

Saying “excuse me”

Whether kids need to excuse a burp or interject during a conversation, this phrase is important. It's one of the first manners they can begin to use consistently.

Knocking on closed doors

Learning to respect privacy is often fairly easy for little ones to understand. It starts with knocking on closed doors. Whether they’re trying to enter the washroom or looking for a cuddle in your bed, if the door is closed, they should know what to do.

Being kind with your words

Bullying is a real problem. I'm always hearing new stories about how deeply the torment can affect kids--it’s so important to teach children to be kind with their words. Respecting the differences in others while still being curious is possible for older kids to master. The social filter of knowing when to say something and when to reconsider is a key practice.

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