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10 Manners Children Should Know

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

child smiling

When interacting with others, manners matter.  Among other things, practicing good manners offers the opportunity to make a good impression as well as to express gratitude and respect.Here are 10 manners children should know:

  1. Be Courteous During Conversations.  When speaking to others, especially adults, maintain eye contact and be present (stay engaged).  Be respectful and allow the other person to finish a thought before you begin speaking.  Do not interrupt, unless it is an emergency.  In that case, remember to say “excuse me” before cutting in.  And always  remember to say “please” and “thank you.”

  2. Make Mealtime a Pleasant Experience.  Practice good table manners, including not talking while chewing your food, keeping your mouth closed when you chew, politely passing things when asked and requesting permission to be excused when eating

  3. Leave a Place in Better Condition Than When You Arrived.  Pick up after yourself.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  Leave no evidence of your presence afterwards unless it somehow benefits the person who will be coming in behind you.

  4. Be Polite to Those Who Serve.  Show respect for the cashier at the grocery store, the waiter or waitress or bus driver by making eye contact, offering a smile, refraining from using your phone when interacting with them, and remembering to say “thank you.”

  5. Be a Gracious Host.  Make your guests feel welcome, ask to take their coats, offer refreshments, initiate a conversation with them.

  6. Be a Good Guest. Respect the household rules of your host, do not help yourself to food without it being offered, do not enter an area of the house you are not invited into, remember to say “thank you” when leaving.

  7. Be a Thankful Receiver. When receiving a gift, accept it graciously with a verbal “thank you,” refrain from making any negative comments about the gift, and follow up with a thank you note or e-mail.

  8. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say It At All.  Keep negative and potentially hurtful opinions to yourself.  If what you have to say is necessary, offer your feedback in a constructive and respectful manner.

  9. Remember to Maintain Manners Whether In-Person or On-Line.  When you turn on a device, it’s important to remember not to turn off your manners.  Adhere to proper texting and cell phone etiquette   And remember, the person in front of you should take precedence over the one who is texting or calling, unless it is an emergency.

  10. Love Others.  This point is the motivation for carrying out all the other suggestions.  The Greatest Commandment tells us to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22: 36-40).  Practice the art of putting others first.  Hold the door open for others.  Lend a hand.  Offer that last cookie or your own seat to someone else.  Ultimately, treat others in a way that you would want to be treated. 

mother and son hugging

Keep in mind the best way to get your child to pick up these manners is to practice them yourself!

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Why Manners Matter for Your Children

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

girl writing thank you note

In today’s fast-paced and impersonal world, manners seem to be a lost art.  With that said, is it worth it to take the time to teach your child good manners?  Do good manners really matter any more?  In one word, yes!

Manners are more than rules or skills, such as knowing which fork to use or how to carry on a polite conversation.  They are more than a behavior, like remembering to say “please” or “thank you.”  Manners reflect our attitude.  They display to others our thoughts and opinions.  Manners show what is inside of us and reveal our true hearts and character.

In addition to offering a means of expression, practicing good manners can be beneficial for our children in other ways as well, including affording them the opportunity to make a positive impression, aiding them in the development of relationships and helping them to build self-confidence.

Here are 3 ways to encourage your child to practice good manners:

  1. Explain the Behavior You are Trying to Instill.
    Children are more likely to practice the “what’s” of manners when they understand the “why’s.”  First and foremost, manners are a way of honoring God and acting in a manner that is pleasing to Him.  Consider the following Bible passages:

    - Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
    - Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)heart
    - Be kind to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

    Help your children understand that practicing good manners offers a way to show others gratitude and respect.  For example, when your child understands that interrupting an adult who is speaking is disrespectful, he might be more inclined to wait his turn before speaking.  Or, he may be more inclined to write a thank you note to someone who has given him a gift when he comprehends that the note is an expression of his thanks for the giver’s thoughtfulness.

  2. Expect Respect.
    The root of good manners is respect for others.  Respect is a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important and should be treated in an appropriate way (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary).  Foster an enviroment of respect within your household and teach your children to be respectful.  But remember, to get respect, you must give respect.

  3. Don’t Just Teach, Demonstrate.
    The most effective way to get your child to behave in a certain manner is to model that behavior.  As you teach your child the skills and behaviors associated with good manners, reinforce what you are teaching by practicing those good manners yourself.

    respect sign

A willingness to practice good manners begins with the right attitude.  The right attitude provides the foundation and motivation necessary for children to want to practice the behaviors and skills that demonstrate their respect and gratitude for others and their love of God.

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