How to teach a toddler manners :: Toby’s forgetfulness!

How to teach a toddler manners :: Toby's forgetfulness! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I don’t know what has been going on with Toby of late but he seems to have reached 3 years old and totally forgotten everything we’ve taught him about manners!

Now, this isn’t a big deal – no dramas – he’s a little boy and as his parents we just have to keep reiterating to him that he needs to use his please and thanks you’s when appropriate, that is what we’re here for after all! I just find it odd that he has gone from being a little boy who was rather proud to use his manners, to suddenly having a case of amnesia every time someone hands him down thing or he wants something like a drink etc.

How to teach a toddler manners :: Toby's forgetfulness! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

It’s not just the pleases and thank you’s either, he’s become quite cheeky too. He will demand a drink, and makes cheeky comments like “hurry up with my drink” or “stop talking I need a drink!” Where has this come from?! It’s not something he hears from us, nor can I imagine he’s heard it at nursery.. That leads me to suspect he is just testing out his boundaries and seeing what he can get away with.

How to teach a toddler manners :: Toby's forgetfulness! via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

We never had this experience with Reuben, he has always been polite to a point where we would sometimes have to tell him that he didn’t need to say thank you *quite* so many times. He has started to take a leaf out of his brother’s book though which I find frustrating and worry it’s going be to rub off on Edith as she grows.

What do you think? Did your little ones reach a certain age and suddenly start forgetting their manners? Any tips for how to teach a toddler manners?

H x


  1. Avatar March 11, 2016 / 9:06 am

    I think it must be 3 year old thing, my boy is exactly the same with the cheeky demanding comments! Hopefully he will remember those please and thank you again soon!

    • Harriet March 11, 2016 / 10:08 am

      Yes! So cheeky – they do say three is worse than two… H x

  2. Avatar March 8, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Great post. We are in the midst of teaching {enforcing} manners into our three year and even though she says them, she doesn’t without prompt! haha. She’s getting there though.

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 9:52 am

      Haha enforcing is the better word isn’t it!! I know its nothing to worry about but the little rascals do challenge your patience with it eh?! H x

  3. Avatar March 7, 2016 / 11:50 pm

    I really needed to read this post. Little Miss H will be 3 in May. And all of a sudden she needs constant reminders to say please and thank you. Whereas a few weeks ago she seemed to have it nailed. She also has a lovely habit of demanding we stop, if we are doing something that she doesn’t like. I hope it is just a stage. She is just pushing boundaries and seeing what she can get away with. She is also developing hugely at the moment. Her language is coming on leaps and bounds and so I also think that while she is concentrating on this then her manners have slipped. Is Toby going through a growth spurt or developmental leap at the moment? I am sure that it is just a phase and the best thing you can do is to continue to remind him. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 9:54 am

      Ahhh yes, he really is – plus with Edith now up and about (and as demanding as she is as a child anyway) Toby often says he wants to be 2 and not 3. He gets quite jealous of Edith’s extra attention so I do think that makes a big difference to him, and he is also trying to keep up with his brother who has started school (with which comes a whole other level of attitude!) H x

  4. Avatar March 7, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    My almost 6 year old has been a bit of a nightmare the past few weeks with her manners. No matter how much reminding she always forgets and sounds so rude. I just keep trying to remind her every single time she ‘demands’. x

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 9:55 am

      I think maybe they just do it to see if they can get away with it every so often Kellie! H x

  5. Avatar March 7, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    Oh my gosh, my Noah was 3 in Nov and he has become terrible with his manners lately! Just to me though no one else, which makes me think it is a boundaries thing. Like he is testing me. I think all we can do is reiterate what they should be doing x

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 9:56 am

      YES!!! Both of the boys are worse with me and (to an extent) their Daddy, though I’m the stricter of the two so they *hate* it when Daddy tells them off and tend not to push him as far as me because I will tell them off so much they are used to it haha! H x

  6. Avatar March 7, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    I think this is totally normal, he’s just testing his boundaries. I have three children, and my youngest is just about to turn four, so I’ve been through this! It was different with each of them though, my eldest being far less boundary pushing that his younger siblings, and my youngest has been the worst by far… They are all so different, and what works with one doesn’t always with the next… To be honest, even our 9yo needs to be reminded to say please occasionally, I suspect as parents this part of our job doesn’t end until they leave home!

    • Harriet March 16, 2016 / 10:51 pm

      Oh no, you mean it doesn’t get better around 5.5??!! Gosh, I’ll keep at it then! H x

  7. Avatar March 7, 2016 / 11:33 am

    It’s totally normal for little hints and reminders to be needed when it comes to manners (and many other things) so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It won’t be long until he uses please and thank you without even thinking x

    • Harriet March 7, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      I just have no idea why he’s had a sudden case of amnesia Emma! He’s so funny, but he will get there haha 🙂 H x

    • Harriet March 7, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Absolutely Jemma, he’ll get back to it though! I hope! H x

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