Growing up to be a proper lady involves many different attributes.

How to Teach Your Young Daughter to Be a Proper Lady

by Kathryn Hatter

A proper lady has a variety of attributes that enable her to get along positively with other people. If you want your young daughter to learn these vital skills and adopt a respectful attitude toward others, it will take some coaching and training. But with the appropriate guidance from you, she can become a polite little lady who interacts kindly, helpfully and graciously with her peers and adults.

Set standards of etiquette, manners and conduct for your daughter so she understands your expectations, advises educator Gail Innus, with the Michigan State University Extension. For example, if you want your child to remember to walk -- not run -- in the house, use an indoor voice, sit straight at the table, help with chores, remember to say “please,” wait her turn patiently and ask permission before going outdoors, institute clear rules of conduct to enable your child to learn them.

Speak to your daughter the way you want her to interact with others to teach respectful communication from the beginning, advises physician David H. Freidenberg and psychologist Deanna Chew-Freidenberg. Young children naturally emulate the mannerisms and speech they hear from parents, so the more polite and respectful you are, the easier it should be for your daughter to follow suit.

Coach your daughter on the proper way to conduct herself when she meets people. These people skills might take practice, but with effort, your child should feel comfortable meeting people for the first time and interacting with them. Encourage your daughter to stand tall, maintain eye contact, smile warmly and shake hands if an adult extends his hand, according to Kay West, author of “50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know.”

Expect proper table manners during meals. Show your daughter where to place her napkin, how to serve herself food and pass food to others, how to carry on conversation without talking with her mouth full and how to ask to be excused when she finishes eating.

Model respectful behavior for your daughter to see and learn. Treat others kindly. Use polite manners when you speak with others, always saying “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me” and “I’m sorry.” Help other people when you can to show an attitude of outgoing concern and care for others.


  • Being a proper lady shouldn’t prevent your daughter from climbing and running around a playground, playing kickball at the park and digging in the dirt for worms to go fishing -- if she wants to engage in these activities. The skills involved with being a proper lady involve treating others the way she wants them to treat her.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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