How to Teach Your Teen To Use Their Manners

14 Essential Manners Every Teen Should Have

Teach your teen to have good manners.
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When most parents think about teaching manners, they envision telling a preschooler to say 'please' and 'thank you.' But, good manners goes far beyond those words and it's important to make sure you're teaching your child good manners into the teen years.

Unfortunately, in the digital age, many teens aren't learning basic social skills, like cellphone etiquette. And there are many manners teens often forget even though they've learned them in the past.


Sometimes, teens go through phases where they want to look cool and manners go out the window. At other times, they get a little sloppy and forget to be polite.

But raising a kind and caring teen who uses good manners could be very beneficial to his future. Teens with good manners will command more respect. That could help them socially and academically. It could also help them in their future careers.

Basic Manners Teens Should Know

Sometimes, teens need a little refresher in the basic manners department. It's easy for them to develop a few bad habits when hanging out with their peers or they may get a little lazy from time to time. 

Make sure your teen regularly uses these manners:

  • Says 'please' and 'thank you.'
  • Apologizes when he's done something wrong.
  • Waits his turn to speak in a conversation
  • Keeps his hands to himself and doesn't grab things out of people's hands
  • Says 'excuse me' when he needs to interrupt or if he accidentally bumps into someone.
  • Asks permission to do things
  • Writes thank you notes to people who give her gifts
  • Makes eye contact in conversations
  • Shakes hands when greeting someone new
  • Uses proper table manners when eating
  • Refrains from texting and using social media when talking to people face-to-face
  • Doesn't answer calls when he's in the middle of a face-to-face conversation
  • Uses appropriate language

How to Get Teens to Use Good Manners

You can get your teen to use their manners the same way you get them to do anything else:

  • Be clear about what you expect.
  • Talk about the benefits of having good manners.
  • Give your teen consequences when necessary.

Avoid lecturing your teen or embarrassing him in public. Instead, have private conversations about his manners when you see a problem.

If your teen is disrespectful toward you, intervene. Make it clear that you won't tolerate being treated in an unkind manner. Remove your teen's privileges and allow him to earn them back when he behaves politely. 

Give your teen opportunities to practice good manners too. Returning an item to the store, scheduling his own appointment, or asking wait staff for another drink in a restaurant serve as chances for him to practice his skills.

You can also talk about characters on TV or in movies and how they interact with others. Discuss how manners affect people's lives. 

When your teen is about to enter a new situation, role play. For example, before he picks up a date for the prom, talk about how to greet her parents. Or before he goes to an appointment on his own, role play how to check in at the desk.

When you see your teen display good manners, point it out. Acknowledge when he's doing a good job and he'll be more likely to keep up the good work. Your feedback can be a critical component to your teen's ability to learn new manners and sharpen his skills.

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