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Teaching kids manners

Posted at 1:30 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-17 15:30:04-04

Manners still matter! Starting your kids early will help ensure that good manners come naturally. Ellen Reddick shares some basic manners every child should know.

  • Please and Thank You. Even as your toddler is learning to speak, prompt him to add 'please' to his requests and respond with 'thank you' when they`re met. A habit started this early is effortless and typically lasts forever.
  • Table Manners. Remind your child to be considerate of others at the table by never talking while chewing food, keeping elbows off the table, and by politely passing things as asked. Even a small child can learn to keep a napkin on his lap and wipe his mouth as needed.
  • Don`t Interrupt. Have your child place her hand gently on your arm. You can then look at her and acknowledge her request for your attention. If she forgets, remind her of the rule, and return to your conversation.
  • Conversation Courtesy. Teach your children the basics: make eye contact when talking to others; don`t give automatic answers like 'I don`t know.' 'Yeah.' 'Whatever.'
  •  Excuse Me 1 and 2. If there is an emergency or a need which can`t wait, teach your child to say, 'excuse me' to politely enter your conversation and get your help. Your child should also know that if they do something accidentally, like bumping into someone or accidentally burping, the remedy is to say 'excuse me.'
  • Knock, Knock. Teach your child to knock before opening a closed door.
  • A Good Guest. When visiting in a friend`s home for a play date or party, teach her to respect all the household rules (even if they`re different from your own), and to clean up after herself. Before leaving, she should thank her friend and the friend`s parents for the invitation.
  • Phone Manners. Practice by letting your child answer the phone and by calling and asking for someone.
  • No Comment. Teach your children to refrain from commenting on another person`s appearance or physical characteristics unless it`s to pay them a compliment, which is always nice.
  • A Gracious Receiver. If your child receives a gift, she should thank the giver upon receiving it, and follow up with a nice note or email expressing their appreciation.