Parenting - Teach Kids Basic Manners

It seems that more adults and children lack manners or etiquette than ever before. We can blame it on cell phones, media, video games, etc. But, truly we can only look at ourselves to see where most of the blame belongs. It is up to us as parents to teach our children these basic skills, just as it was our parents responsibility.

In this day and age having a kid with manners seems to surprise the older generation. Teach your kids these basic skills and it will help them when they step into the big-wide-world on their own.

1. "What's the magic word?". Please and Thank You! It starts with your toddler just saying these single words, then you roll that into "Make a sentence. May I have some milk please?"


2. Table manners. This one could be a blog in itself... Chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth(!), don't slurp, use your utensils, use your napkin not your pants. Burping and farting at the table is only funny on occasion let's not make a habit of it, of course never in public places or when having group dinner with guests. We've taught our kids to excuse themselves to the other room when they need to fart, they always return chuckling and smiling, it took us a bit to break the 8yo to stop announcing it from the other room "I'm glad you are relieved kiddo, but you don't need to let everyone know." (Secretly withholding parent chuckle).

3. Inside Voices. At the the dinner table, in the store, hospitals, theater shows, the movies or the library. Teach your kid they have the power to control the volume of their voice.

4. How to Answer the phone. Say "Hello.", "May I ask who is calling?" and saying "Goodbye".


5. Greeting people. Say "hello", smile, make eye contact and shake hands.

6. Cleanliness. Pick up after yourself, take your plate to the kitchen, help clean the table, (help set-up the table), give them chores or set-up a chore chart.

7. Treat public places as you treat your own home. That means if you drop trash pick it up, pick up trash that others have dropped (be the better person), flush the public toilet, don't destroy the dinner table at a restaurant, put things back where you found them, etc.


There you have it. Basic manners. Of course there are more, but these are a good start. It's never to late to instill these life skills on your kids or yourself. Although I appreciate the steps forward we have made as a society, we have taken many steps backwards in other areas, manners and etiquette being one of them. Good luck and may the force be with you.

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