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18 Manners Worth Teaching


We all want kids that show respect and are mindful of their actions with others, but when does that begin to matter?  Do you wait until your child embarrasses you at a party and does not give appropriate ‘thank you’ to those in attendance?

As parents, or at least for me, I hate those moments where you feel your child should know better, but their actions show something else.

So in order to avoid some embarrassing situations, I have found the earlier you begin teaching polite behavior the more time it has to be practiced and eventually stick.   Between the ages of 2 and 5, your preschool child is most receptive to learning the rules of polite conduct.  They aim to please at this age and will easily mimic behavior of others.  So if you are modeling the behavior you are trying to teach, your child will see this.  Take advantage of this critical age period to teach appropriate behavior.  When children are polite, kind to others and honest, they develop strong character traits that are set for life.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often do not have time to focus on etiquette, but if you reinforce these  must-know manners, you’ll raise a polite, kind and well-liked adult.  Mastering these simple rules of etiquette will get him noticed — for all the right reasons.

  • When asking for something, say “Please.”

  • When receiving something, say “Thank you.”

  • Do not interrupt others who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. Wait for them to acknowledge you.  If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, say “excuse me” and wait for a response.

  • When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first.

  • Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them.  It is not polite to stare.

  • When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

  • When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.

  • Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.

  • When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

  • Be appreciative and say “thank you” for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank you note is an expression of truly being grateful.

  • Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

  • Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.

  • If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.”

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public.

  • When someone helps you, say “thank you.” This shows you appreciate their effort and kindness.

  • Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.

  • Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

  • When finished eating, wait to be excused or ask for permission before leaving the table.  It is always kind to thank the cook, even if it is your own mom!

 What would you add to the list?

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