Aside from feeding, clothing, and nurturing their children, parents also have the intimidating responsibility of raising well-adjusted kids who respect people and, hopefully, leave the world a little bit better than they found it. Easier said than done, right? Luckily, teaching your kids basic manners and respect can start at a very early age. There are some excellent books that will make your kid more polite and respectful just by sitting down and reading together, something you probably do everyday anyway.
In a world where bullying can start as early as age three, according to the New York Department of Health, and where good manners are often seen as old fashioned and a thing of the past, it's more important than ever for parents to intentionally teach their kids how to behave in social situations, both through example and word.
Manners go much deeper than just learning to say "please" and "thank you." It's learning how to treat the kid on the playground who is "different" with kindness. It's figuring out what diversity and acceptance means. It's learning that interrupting isn't OK and that certain behaviors require certain responses. Manners are messy, hard to learn, and even harder to practice, but armed with books like these, the worthwhile task will become much more manageable.
'The Day the Crayons Came Home' by Drew Daywalt
The Day The Crayons Came Home is the hilarious sequel to The Day The Crayons Quit, and tells the story of a little boy who made them all feel equal and appreciated and welcome to come home. In addition to be adorable, it teaches kids about equality and making people of all kinds feel like they matter.
'My Mouth Is A Volcano!' by Julia Cook
'Mind Your Manners B.B. Wolf' by Judy Sierra
For anyone who loves fairy tales, this book is a must. Picking up years after the classic big bad wolf story left off, Mind Your Manners B.B. Wolf tells the story of the big bad wolf, a content retiree, who is invited to tea with a librarian. He obviously must learn some manners and will teach your kids right along with him.