Nurturing Respectful Habits Through Montessori Grace and Courtesy Lessons

grace and courtesy montessori

Learning subjects like math and science and having mastery in using correct grammar is vital for kids to succeed in life. However, these are not the only important lessons that kids should be learning.

Teaching kids manners and respect is also pivotal for their future development as well-rounded adults. As children learn to care for themselves, they also learn to become caring companions to others. 

Grace and Courtesy lessons are not just a set of actions to perform. Rather, they are a way of life that teaches kids how to respect themselves and others so they can build fulfilling friendships and relationships.

Grace and Courtesy Lessons in Montessori

Grace and Courtesy Lessons are part of the Montessori Practical Life Curriculum. It is a set of lessons that teaches students how to be good people. The lessons include how to show respect for themselves and others and how to give constructive criticism. They explain what kind of behavior is pleasing to others and what behavior is not healthy in other people’s eyes. They explain how to express their opinions while respecting others’ thoughts, feelings, moods, and opinions.

Young kids between the ages of 2 and a half and 6 are in the Sensitive Period for learning Grace and Courtesy. This is why the main focus for this age group is based on providing children with the actions, vocabulary, and steps that kids need to develop their interpersonal skills.

As your child grows, they learn to mimic your actions. Demonstrating respect, along with having lessons on these important topics, guides kids toward becoming more friendly.

Knowing how to teach grace and Courtesy from the beginning is helpful to a parent and is dovetailed within the Montessori setting.

How to Teach Grace and Courtesy

grace and courtesy montessori

Learning grace and Courtesy is an ongoing process. Here are some tips you can use to teach your child how to be a respectful person.

1. Modeling Respectful Habits

Children tend to mimic their parents, the most significant people in their lives. Therefore, by modeling respectful behavior, you teach your child to be kinder and more polite. When a child sees a parent performing acts of respect, they will learn to do it too.

As children learn to adapt and adopt the manners of more influential figures, they are able to reflect those characteristics back onto themselves. When they see adults being positive role models for kids, they will grow to become well-rounded

Here are things that you can do to become a positive role model for your child:

  • Let small things go. When someone cuts you off in traffic or when someone bothers you, let it go. 
  • Be respectful of all. Treat everyone equally, whether rich or poor; male or female; young or old; and regardless of race or religion. 
  • Demonstrate kindness. For example, you are in a store and see someone struggling to open the door. Instead of speeding off, walk up to them and ask if they need any help.

These are just some of the many ways that you could demonstrate respectful and polite behavior.

2. Explain Why We Need To Be Polite

Young children love to ask lots of questions, and it is a great opportunity for you to teach your child about concepts they do not know yet and answer their questions so they can understand what is happening in the world.

Kids will most likely not ask questions about manners and Courtesy, but explaining the reasoning behind particular behaviors is vital to satisfy their minds.

If they are pulling a puppy’s tail, explain to your little one that their behavior is hurting the puppy and also that the puppy may retaliate if they continue.

If your kid is in a playroom or playground with other kids, and suddenly your kid aggressively takes another kid’s toy and doesn’t share, explain to them that their behavior is not nice and that his playmate feels sad about what he did.

These are just some of the many examples that can help you explain why your child needs to be respectful and polite.

3. Make Specific Boundaries

grace and courtesy montessori

Boundaries are also a vital part of teaching polite behavior. A child must have clear and specific rules on what is and isn’t allowed to do in certain situations. This helps your child know how to behave properly in future interactions with others. 

It is also important that the boundaries you set are age-appropriate because children below a certain age simply cannot comprehend the ramifications of their actions.

Here are examples of what you can set as specific boundaries for your child:

  •  Limit the amount of time that your child is allowed to play in their room. This helps kids to know when it is appropriate and when it isn’t. 
  • Limit the hours that your child watches television or plays video games. This helps them to know how many hours a day are appropriate for watching television or playing games.
  • Limit the amount of candy or other sweets that your child can eat in a day. This helps them to know when it is acceptable to eat sweets and when they should limit their intake.
  • Location-specific, such as getting snacks from a specific drawer if they feel hungry.
  • Telling them to put away things like toys after using them.

4. Use Activities to Teach Courtesy

Planning activities is one of the most practical ways to instill Grace and Courtesy. Having a list of specific actions to do makes things easy.

Lots of these practices are done within the Montessori setting. Use ideas from the list for ways how to teach your little one to be courteous. 

1. Asking Questions:

  • Asking for help
  • Asking for permission 
  • Inviting a friend to an event
  • Asking someone to move

2. Assisting Others

  • Providing comfort
  • Giving a gift
  • Working together on a task
  • Offering help

3. Interacting with Others

  • Saying hello
  • Saying, “please.
  • Greeting a friend
  • Exhibiting table manners
  • Not interrupting
  • Making eye contact
  • Sharing with other people
  • Apologizing
  • Waiting patiently
  • Speaking softly

The Importance of Role-Playing

grace and courtesy montessori

The above examples of Courtesy and manners can be taught through demonstrating these attributes, though role-playing can be done with family members or friends.

For instance, to show a kid how to patiently wait for someone’s attention, exhibit laying a hand on someone’s shoulder while engaged in a conversation.

Have someone acknowledge your presence and say, “I’ll be with you in a moment.” After two minutes, the person must re-acknowledge you and give thanks for patiently waiting, and ask you, “What Can I Do For You?” Have your little one participate in this activity. They will enjoy this, and they will learn important lessons!

Whether children spend time with a sibling, neighbor, or parent, here are real-life situations where they can have fun playtime and demonstrate positive behaviors.

Kids love to imitate real life as they put on a puppet show or play hospital. As a guardian, you can observe and create teachable moments through role-playing.

  • Restaurant – Kids love to pretend to eat in front of others. You can demonstrate how to wait patiently for the food to arrive or use their fork and spoon properly by having them feed their little brother.
  • School – Talk about how kids behave in class and how they should act at home. Ask your child how he makes friends and what he does when he doesn’t have a friend to play with.
  • House – Ask your kids how they treat and greet their parents. What do they need to remember when people come over?
  • Body Language – Let them know that the way that we walk and talk is a great way of showing our respect for others. Address their behavior so that it follows whatever you have shown them.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a few ways that you can start to nurture respectful habits in your child through Montessori grace and courtesy lessons. These are just a few examples, but there are many more ways to incorporate respect into your child’s daily routine. By modeling respectful behavior yourself and providing opportunities for your child to practice respect, you can help them develop into considerate, respectful adults.

Here at Montessori Academy, we nurture kids into being great and make them into respectful individuals. We aim to provide the best possible Montessori education to every child by creating a safe and caring environment. If you want to know more about our Montessori philosophy and curriculum, feel free to reach out. You can find us at (310) 215 -3388 for Culver City and (323) 795-0200 for West Adams.


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