"Helping your child master these simple rules of etiquette will get him noticed -- for all the right reasons." -By David Lowry, Ph.D.
As a parent I am torn between when I should correct my children, or when to just "let it go". Have you ever been there? My philosophy is to correct the correctable...like manners, character, and discipline of mind, body, and thought. This can seem to be an overwhelming task at times, so when I find great practical advice I like to share it with those around me. I hope you find some of these to be helpful.
Your children may not even realize that how they are behaving is wrong or rude. Many times the behavior that they are displaying isn't even intentional. Sometimes kids just don't realize it's impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly observe another persons physical features.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, busy moms and dads don't always have the time to focus on etiquette. I do find these 25 must have manners to be important not just for my children, but for me as well.
Manner #1: When asking for something, say "Please."
Manner #2: When receiving something, say "Thank you."
Manner #3: Do not interrupt another conversation in progress unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
Manner #4: If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
Manner #5: When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
Manner #6: The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your close friends, and out of earshot of others.
Manner #7: Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.
Manner #8: When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
Manner #9: When you have spent time at a friend's house, remember to thank them for having you over and for the good time you had.
Manner #10: Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.
Manner #11: When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
Manner #12: Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
Manner #13: Never use foul language. People already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
Manner #14: Don't call people mean names.
Manner #15: Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
Manner #16: Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and work on being interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
Manner #17: If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."
Manner #18: Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
Manner #19: As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
Manner #20: If you come across someone working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.
Manner #21: When someone asks you for a favor or for help, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
Manner #22: When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again.
Manner #23: Use eating utensils properly and do not talk with food in your mouth. If you are unsure of which fork or spoon to use, watch what the others are doing around you.
Manner #24: Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
Manner #25: Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.
**Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine**
~Peace & Blessings~