Raising kind, thoughtful, and respectful kids is a high priority on most families' parenting wish lists, but it doesn't happen without consistent effort. September is National Children's Good Manners Month, so here are 10 fun and appropriate books you can read with your child that highlight this appealing trait.
Raising kind, thoughtful, and respectful kids is a high priority on most families' parenting wish lists, but it doesn't happen without consistent effort.
There are many ways that we as parents and caregivers can set great examples to teach good manners, mainly by demonstrating courteous behavior ourselves both at home and in public.
Another wonderful way to reinforce good manners is by engaging young children with good books that focus on such lessons. September is National Children's Good Manners Month, so here are 10 fun and appropriate books that you can read with your child to encourage kindness and respect.
1. Time to Say "Please"!, Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
This companion book to the popular Time to Pee! is a book on manners, narrated by groups of bubbly mice. It includes a free board game and spinner.
2. What Do You Say, Dear?: A Book of Manners for All Occasions, Written by Sesyle Joslin, Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
With silly characters and adorable illustrations, this book introduces your child to manners with appropriate answers for all sorts of behavior situations using very silly examples.
3. Mind Your Manners, Dick and Jane, by Micol Ostow and Noah Harlan
Parents familiar with the popular Dick and Jane stories will enjoy sharing this book about modern day manners. It covers all aspects of manners, including how to speak politely with others, how to take good care of your own things, as well as how to have good table manners.
4. How to Behave and Why, by Munro Leaf
This book was written over 50 years ago but is still a classic. The lessons are easy to understand and cover the basics—honesty, as well as being fair, strong, and wise. It’s illustrated with simple stick figure pictures to reinforce the idea that learning how to behave is a very basic idea and that it can be a way of life for anyone who is willing to learn and demonstrate good manners no matter what.
5. My Mouth Is a Volcano, by Julia Cook
In this book, main character Louis has lots of important thoughts that run through his mind daily. Because Louis doesn’t have a filter, when he has one of his many ideas and thoughts he blurts them out without thinking, even when others are around or someone else is already talking. My Mouth Is a Volcano teaches children a smart and witty technique to avoid this rude behavior, and draws clear lines on when it’s appropriate to express oneself and when it’s more polite to keep quiet.
6. Clifford’s Manners, by Norman Bridwell
Sometimes, the best way to learn a lesson is to watch someone you look up to doing the same. This, of course, means that it’s important to set a good example, but also that kids may enjoy taking a few behavioral cues from some of their favorite characters, such as Clifford the Big Red Dog.
7. Dude, That’s Rude, by Pamela Espeland and Elizabeth Verdick
Many parents feel that kids can’t connect with lessons about behavior because it’s hard or difficult for them to connect with old-fashioned ideas. This great contemporary manual on behavior provides kids with the how's and why's of being well-behaved in today’s world.
8. Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners, by Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg had both parents and kids in mind when she wrote this hilarious book about modern day etiquette. She realized that parents are the ones who usually read these important books to their kids, so her examples, such as how to handle texting and cell phone use in public or how to behave on an elevator, are situations that both adults and kids can relate to.
9. A Little Book of Manners for Boys, by Bob and Emilie Barnes
The old adage that boys will be boys still holds true today. That means that many parents of little boys find that they have trouble interesting their sons in etiquette because they feel that this is just “girl stuff." This fun tale has illustrations by Michal Sparks, and features sections about sportsmanship, table manners, appropriate language, and more.
10. Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book, by Richard Scarry
Richard Scarry and great children's literature are synonymous, so when it comes to teaching kids how to be polite and have good manners, this whimsical classic will engage young children and plant very important seeds about the right ways to act in situations. The book covers topics such as knowing right from wrong, going to school, staying safe, and much more.