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Teaching Toddlers to be Respectful and Considerate to Others

Written by: Kokotree

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teach toddlers respect and considerate

As parents, we want our children to grow up as good people who respect and value others. And the foundation of such social and emotional intelligence starts in the early years of life.

Children taught to be respectful, considerate, and empathetic from a young age develop stronger social skills and relationships with others. 

A study published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology found that children who were taught social and emotional skills in the early years of their lives demonstrated better behavior, higher academic achievement, and fewer emotional and behavioral problems later on.

Parents must instill these life traits in their toddlers early on so they can grow up to become kind, compassionate, and respectful individuals. However, teaching young children these crucial lessons can be challenging, and many parents need help finding effective ways to impart these values. Fortunately, making it happen is reaping and fulfilling for every parent and their little angels. 

This blog will share simple and practical ways to teach your toddler to be respectful and considerate of others.  

Table of contents show

Why is it Important to Teach Toddlers to be Respectful and Considerate of others? 

Sowing good and respectful traits in your child help their personal development — and as a part of society, it helps others. Because, in the end, you’re nurturing a person’s behavior which will affect family, friends, and acquaintances. 

The importance of teaching toddlers to be respectful and considerate: 

Helps with vital lifestyle skills.

Teaching toddlers to be polite, kind, and considerate behavior helps them develop good manners and begin to understand their feelings and those of others. This can help build essential skills such as patience, sharing, and empathy. 

Develops positive relationships.

When toddlers learn to be respectful and considerate of others, they develop positive relationships with their peers, family members, and friends. They learn to communicate effectively and work together, which helps to build strong and healthy relationships.

Boosts self-confidence.

Encouraging positive attitudes in toddlers can also boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. It is crucial to teach them that other people’s emotions also matter and assist them in learning to deal with relationships respectfully and respectfully.

Develops problem-solving skills.

When your toddler starts to understand how they feel or how others feel, they will be able to handle situations where they’ll need to implement patience and evaluation skills to handle others and their emotions.

Therefore, implanting good manners and proper social etiquette in your toddler can significantly contribute to their ability to interact positively with others and develop prosperous relationships and life.

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17 Ways to Teach Toddlers to be Respectful and Considerate of Others.

Parenting is indeed one of the most challenging jobs. Being new parents, we often think about how to teach our children the best behaviors.

Hence, we have mentioned 17 proven ways below that may help you teach your toddler to be respectful and considerate of others

Be respectful to your toddler.

Toddlers tend to do what they see around them. As parents, we must be mindful of our actions and treat our children with esteem to set a positive example.

Give them respect, show gratitude when they help, and you’ll see your toddler doing the same. When we appreciate their contributions, they feel valued and develop a sense of self-worth. 

However, toddlers are in a phase where they’re still learning about right and wrong, and they inevitably make mistakes. When they do, it’s essential to explain to them what they did wrong in a calm manner.

Also, praise them when they do a good job. This is how they learn about wrong and right and treat everyone respectfully.

Manners are a great help.

Teaching manners to your toddlers is an essential step towards being respectful.

Teaching manners to toddlers involves introducing them to essential words and phrases, such as hello, thank you, please, and goodbye. These words and phrases are the building blocks of communication. 

Teach them to say sorry when they make a mistake. Apologizing is a vital aspect of social interaction. It helps children learn about accountability and taking responsibility for their actions — they know how to acknowledge their mistakes and take steps to correct them. 

Give your attention.

Toddlers need attention because they are in a stage of their life where they are learning everything new. They may find it difficult to express themselves, so they seek help from adults around them. 

As a parent, it is essential to understand that they require your attention and assistance. You can pause your work momentarily and pay attention to what part they find difficult — such as putting on their shoes, doing their homework, and doing other chores. 

This will show them that you care about them and are willing to help. Eventually, they learn to pay attention to others when you pay attention to them.

Consideration of emotions.

Humans are made of emotions and like to express feelings. But many times, toddlers might struggle to tell how they feel. Hence, help them label happy, sad, excited, or tired emotions. Because once they start understanding their own emotions and feelings, gradually they’ll understand how others feel too. 

In addition to helping your child label their emotions, it is essential to validate their feelings. For example, if your toddler is angry because they could not go to the park, you can say, “I can see that you are feeling upset because you wanted to go there, and it’s okay to feel that way.” — This let your child know that their feelings are important and that they are allowed to feel what they feel.

Plan considerate actions.

Teach your toddler to give and share with others. Doing considerate actions with them also makes them considerate to others. For example, let them share their snacks or toys with other children, and try to take them with you while donating their old stuff like toys and clothes.

When toddlers engage in considerate actions such as sharing, helping, or being kind, it assists them in staying humble and aware of the worth and importance of such acts. 

Positive discipline, not punishment.

Discipline helps a toddler more than punishment. A disciplined child stands out automatically!

Some examples of positive discipline you can use instead of punishing your toddler can be as follows: Suppose your toddler has their toys all over the room, then instead of punishing them for creating a mess, ask them to put toys on the shelf. Praise them for doing so, so they will put toys on the shelf by themselves next time without your pointing.


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Value your toddler’s choice.

Be respectful of their choices. Let them know that everyone can have different options so that when they meet new people and see the differences in an individual’s preferences, they know that it’s completely fine.

For instance, one can have a sweet jam with bread, and the other can have peanut butter. Teach them that it is not necessary to choose what others choose, but it is important to respect what others have.

Decision-making ability.

Decision-making enhances confidence. When toddlers make small decisions, this means they are expressing themselves, and they can think according to their environment. 

For example, when parents take their toddlers to a toy shop, they can allow them to choose between two of their favorite toys. By doing so, the toddlers can analyze their options and decide which one they like or want more. 

This decision-making process can be seen as an exercise in self-expression, allowing toddlers to assert their preferences and desires. Moreover, when parents allow their toddlers to make small decisions like choosing a toy, it can help develop their critical thinking skills

Teach your child about healthy competition.

Teaching your toddler that effort is more important than winning or losing — is a must-to-learn life lesson! Rather than emphasize the outcome, teach them the importance of recognizing the effort you put into something and celebrating the progress.

For instance, let’s say your child participates in a running race at their preschool. You can tell them that it’s great to compete and have fun, but what matters is that they try their best and don’t give up. 

This way, you can help your child develop a healthy sense of competition, self-esteem, and confidence in their abilities. They will learn that their progress and personal growth are more important than comparing themselves to others.

Don’t use harsh tones.

Using harsh tones and words around toddlers can hurt their emotional well-being and development. Toddlers are sensitive little humans who need positive reinforcement and gentle communication to thrive.

For example, if your toddler spills milk on the floor, instead of yelling at them, calmly ask them to help you clean it up. Use kind and encouraging words such as, “It’s okay. Accidents happen, and let’s clean it up together.” This way, you teach your child to take responsibility for their actions and show them that mistakes can be corrected without harshness or negativity.

Teach empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It is a skill that helps toddlers to form healthy relationships and steer social situations effectively.

One way to teach empathy to toddlers is by helping them understand how their actions and words can impact others. 

Parents can also encourage their toddlers to share and take turns. They develop empathy when toddlers share a toy with a friend or wait patiently for their turn. They learn that other people have needs and wants, just like they do, and it’s essential to respect those needs and wants.

Address negative behavior.

When dealing with negative behavior in toddlers, it’s essential to approach the situation calmly and assertively. 

For example, if your child demands more chocolates or cookies and becomes upset when you say no, explain why you’re refusing their request clearly and concisely. You might say, “I know you want more sweets, but overeating candy can hurt your tummy and is not good for your health.”

Similarly, if your child is throwing a tantrum because they want to watch TV instead of going to bed, it’s essential to set clear limits and explain why. You could say, “I understand that you want to watch TV, but it’s important to get enough sleep to feel rested and have energy for tomorrow, or we can watch your favorite show tomorrow after school.”

Be calm.

Toddlers are naturally curious and eager to explore their surroundings. They have a short attention span, and it is common for them to get distracted easily. As a result, it may take a lot of work to communicate with them effectively.

Try to redirect their attention back to the task by using simple language and a gentle tone. For example, you could say, “Let’s finish putting away the toys, and then you can play with that one.”

By staying calm and understanding, you can teach your toddler that communication and problem-solving can be done without resorting to yelling or shouting, which are not feasible solutions.

Teach them kind behavior.

Children learn best by observing the behavior of the adults around them. Therefore, modeling kind behavior in your interactions with others is essential. 

For instance, if you see someone struggling to carry their groceries, offer to help them, or if you see someone upset. Your toddler will watch and learn from your actions.

And not only to humans but also to teach them to be kind to animals and plants. For example, you can teach them to feed birds, pet dogs and cats and help stray animals. When you see your toddler’s kind behavior, reward them or complement them to promote it. 

Teach healthy habits.

Teaching your toddler healthy habits is an essential part of their development. These habits not only help your child to stay healthy but also improve their social skills and behavior.

For example, teaching your child to cover their mouth while sneezing or coughing can help prevent the spread of germs. When around other children, they will know to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their elbow to avoid spreading germs.

Similarly, washing hands before sharing food is another healthy habit that can help prevent the spread of germs. By doing this, your child will learn to respect their health and the health of others. 

Solve their curiosity.

Toddlers are always curious about everything. They see new things around them, different people, and different behavior and ask many questions. Listen to them, pay attention, and then try to answer carefully.

Expose your child to diverse books, music, and activities. Encourage them to ask questions and learn about other cultures and traditions. Teach your child to be accepting of others who may look or behave differently from them.

In conclusion, teaching toddlers to be respectful and considerate of others requires patience, consistency, and modeling good behavior. Teaching empathy and setting clear boundaries can help your child develop into a well-rounded individual who interacts positively with others. 

Essential Reading
Toddler Temper Tantrums: The Ultimate Guide – Learn how to handle toddler temper tantrums with our ultimate guide. Discover tips and strategies to manage and prevent outbursts in young children.

Frequently asked questions about teaching toddlers to be respectful and considerate to others.

How do I teach my toddler to be considerate?

Teaching a toddler to be considerate requires modeling considerate behavior and reinforcing positive behavior consistently. Encourage empathy and awareness of others’ feelings.

How can you teach children to be considerate, tolerant, and respectful of each other?

Children can learn to be considerate, tolerant, and respectful of each other by being exposed to diverse cultures, receiving positive reinforcement for kind behavior, and having education about individual differences.

How will you encourage children to respect and regard other children’s differences?

Encourage children to embrace diversity and respect differences by celebrating and discussing them. Encourage open communication and model accepting behavior.

How do I teach my child respect and manners?

Teach respect and manners by modeling them, explaining their importance, and consistently reinforcing good behavior.

How do I discipline my toddler respectfully?

Respectfully discipline toddlers by setting clear boundaries, using positive reinforcement, and redirecting behavior. Avoid physical punishment or shaming.

How do you deal with non-compliant toddlers?

Deal with non-compliant toddlers by consistently setting clear boundaries, using positive reinforcement for good behavior, and redirecting inappropriate behavior gently.

What teaches us to be considerate?

Observing considerate behavior and receiving positive reinforcement from parents and role models teach us to be considerate.

How do you teach a child kindness and empathy?

Teach a child kindness and empathy by modeling these behaviors, reading books about kindness and empathy, and encouraging them to consider others’ feelings.

What are the five most important things a child should be taught about manners?

Children should be taught to say please and thank you, to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, to wait their turn, to use polite language, and to keep their hands to themselves.

How do you teach respect in a fun way?

Teach respect in a fun way by incorporating games and activities that encourage empathy and understanding of others’ feelings.

What are six manners that children must learn?

Children must learn to say please and thank you, excuse themselves politely, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, wait their turn, use appropriate table manners, and communicate sorry when appropriate.

What are four common inappropriate behaviors of toddlers?

Common inappropriate toddler behaviors include hitting, biting, throwing tantrums, and not sharing.

What causes an unreasonable toddler?

Unreasonable toddler behavior can be caused by frustration with communication, lack of sleep or hunger, overstimulation, or a need for attention.

How do you handle disruptive behavior in toddlers?

Handle disruptive behavior in toddlers by remaining calm, redirecting their behavior, setting clear boundaries, and using positive reinforcement for good behavior.

How can we support and respect a child to learn more than one language?

Support and respect a child learning more than one language by providing exposure to the language, encouraging practice and conversation, and praising their efforts.

What are four ways children learn to be respectful of diversity?

Children learn to be respectful of diversity through education, exposure, modeling respectful behavior, and encouraging open communication.

How do you promote respect and tolerance in the early years?

Promote respect and tolerance in the early years by celebrating diversity, modeling respectful behavior, encouraging empathy and understanding of others’ feelings, and educating about individual differences.


So far, we have seen many ways to teach our toddlers to be respectful and considerate of others. The fact is that every child is unique, some are shy, and some are outgoing and playful, but they all need to be taught in different ways. Some kids learn quickly, and some might require another way. You know your toddler best and what kind of teaching they need. These ways will help you to make your toddler a better version of themselves. 

Happy parenting!

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