Christian Manners & Etiquette for Preschoolers

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Proverbs 22:6 advises parents to train children in the correct path so they will follow it throughout their lives. The Bible provides guidelines for conduct Christian parents can use to train their children in Galatians 5:22-23 and 1 Corinthians 13. These guidelines include attitudes that govern manners and etiquette. If you begin training your toddler with these guidelines, you can expect your preschooler to begin demonstrating them.

Begin With Love

The Galatians and 1 Corinthians scriptures begin their focus with love. Passages from 1 Corinthians 13 define characteristics that demonstrate loving behavior. Tell your preschooler, "Acting with love means that you play nice, speak kind words and touch gently. If someone has what you want to play with, you wait until that child is finished with it. You share and work things out when you disagree. You can be happy with something nice happens to another person." Sum this up with Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:12 when you say, “Treat others the way you want them to treat you.”

Goodness and Friendliness

In accordance with Galatians 5:22-23, your preschooler can look for ways to demonstrate goodness by offering to help others with they ask for help. In class, she can share the art supplies or toys with another child or help the teacher pass out supplies. She can make friends with the child who has no friends, introduce the new friend to others and include the new child in games the children play together.


The most difficult part of the Galatians list of behaviors is self-control. It’s difficult to be nice to someone when he isn’t nice to you, so your preschooler might be tempted to act in kind. You can stress, “Fighting or being mean when someone makes you mad doesn’t solve the problem. If you can’t get along, walk away and find someone else to play with.” Role play this so your little one learns how to do this without having to try to figure it out when he is angry at another child.


A trait missing from the Galatians and 1 Corinthians passages is thankfulness. Your little one can demonstrate good manners by saying “please” and “thank you” when appropriate. Model this by thanking her when she helps you, and begin your requests with “please.” Tell her, “We say 'please' and 'thank you' because it's polite when you want something or someone gives you something. When we pray, we use the same words to ask God for help or when he blesses us.”

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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