Good manners can get you far in life. But teaching our children how to have manners, and which manners to focus on, can be a challenge. We have compiled a list of some of the top behaviors that can make a difference in a well-polished demeanor.
Please and thank you – These are two of the most important phrases we can ever use. How much more willing are you to help when someone says please? And doesn’t it make you happy to know someone acknowledged what you did with a simple thank you? Use these words in your own language and encourage your child to do the same.
Excuse me – from accidentally bumping into someone and not hearing someone well (instead of saying what?) to inappropriate bodily sounds, the phrase excuse me can quickly ease a situation in a quick and polite manner.
Hold the door – boys should be taught early about holding the door open for others, and girls would do well to do the same, and to say thank you, if someone holds the door for them. Shutting the door in someone’s face, because you chose to be lazy and not hold it open is rude and not necessary.
I’m sorry – children seem to have a hard time understanding that “I’m sorry” is what you say when you accidentally hurt someone else. Kids might say “I didn’t mean to do that.” Well of course not, so say “I’m sorry;” and if you are the one accepting the apology please respond with “I forgive you” (if you do forgive), or at least with a “thank you,” to acknowledge the apology.
Give up a seat – if you are on a bus, in a doctor’s office, or anyplace else where seating is limited, teach your child how to give up his/her seat for a pregnant lady, or for an elderly person. It’s a great way to teach compassion and ease the burden for someone else.
Chew with your mouth closed – to walk through the cafeteria at school you’d be amazed how many children do not have this simple good manner down pat. Keep in mind the business meals your child may have later in life and get this bad habit nipped in the bud now.
Answering the phone – when a child answers the phone at home it would be nice to have a standard greeting. A suggestion is “This is the Smith’s, how can I help you?”
See a friend out – when a play date is over and a friend is leaving, teach your child to walk the friend to the door to say good-bye. The friend will feel cared about and appreciated.
Help a friend – if someone drops something, help pick it up. If a friend is struggling with a project, offer to help. If someone is carrying too much, offer to help carry something. Helping others is a great social tool that can take a person far in life.