Learning Good Manners & Etiquette

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Teaching our children good manners at an early age may solve many problems down the road. Manners, proper etiquette some would say, may be one of the top lessons a child needs to learn. As an adult we have to behave in a certain manner. We all know someone, an adult, we feel has terrible manners or no etiquette at all. Do you want your children to be one of those adults that everyone avoids because they don't have good manners?

Not sure what to do or say? Well, just take your time strolling through the information, books and websites listed below. You must understand though that not all of these things will work with every child or even every family. There is one idea that will work every time with every family and with every child.

Make time for the entire family to be together, to talk and just have fun.

Mind Your Manners

September 27, 2006

Do your children "lose it" when you're out in public? You know they can use good manners, but once they step out your front door, does it seem they can't remember anything? Don't worry, you're not alone. This can be one of the most frustrating parts of parenting!

Remember, three important ideas shape good manners--custom, common sense, and consideration.

Custom is the habit of doing things a certain way. For example, in Western culture, most adults greet one another by shaking hands.

Common sense is what makes sense to most people. Ask your child, is it polite to push your way up an escalator just because you want to get to the top faster?

Consideration is thinking about the way the other person feels. Being rude to someone is bad manners--not because a book says so, but because it hurts that person's feelings.

If we teach these basic ideas at home, then our children should behave well in public. But be warned: If you tell your children what they're supposed to do, then fail to practice those rules yourself - well, your children might just do what you do, not what you say.

Practice what you preach
Here are a few suggestions to help you guide your children to use good manners, at home and anywhere else they roam.

General "out in public" manners:

1. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Don't stare or make fun of anyone, no matter how strange they may look.
2. Put litter in its place.
3. Say you're sorry if you bump into someone or accidentally step on someone's toe.
4. Remember to say please and thank you.
5. Don't walk in bunches so that you block others.
6. If you need to stop and talk, move over to the side away from the flow of traffic.

Tips for parents: Before you go out, talk to your child about good manners and what behavior you expect. If your child behaves in a rude way, lead him away from other people to correct him. Remind him that he gets to go on special outings when he behaves well.

Table manners for kids (and parents):

1. Swallow all your food before you talk.
2. If you put something in your mouth that's too hot, don't spit it out. Instead, reach for your drink and take a quick sip.
3. Ask someone to pass food that is not right in front of you. Don't reach for it.
4. Sit up straight and don't slouch.
5. Chew with your mouth closed.
6. Keep elbows off the table.
7. Food is for eating, not for playing.
8. Ask the server to replace dropped silverware. Don't crawl under the table to get it.
9. Take spills in stride. Let children know you understand their motor skills are still growing. The server will help you clean up.
10. Don't comb hair at the table.

Tips for parents: When dining out, try to keep your meal schedule as close as possible to the one you follow at home. You might try eating a little early to avoid the crowd. If you have younger children, let them sit facing a window, so they will find something to entertain and distract them. If that's not possible, let your children sit by a wall or out of the way of other diners.

Keep in mind that all children need frequent reminders, at home and out in public. Praise your children for using good manners. If you only tell your children what they've done wrong, they have no reason to behave well. After all, you're only giving them attention when they misbehave.

Most importantly, model good behavior. Your children watch everything you do. Teaching them to use good manners is not about impressing anyone. Rather, you are building in your child confidence, awareness, and consideration of others. With these tools, they will succeed wherever they choose to go.

The above was borrowed from:
http://www.childcareaware.org/ en/subscriptions/areyouaware/ article.php?id=56
Printed with permission from author, Sherry Bowen, and Partnership for Learning.

Basic Manners

Manners are taught as soon as your child understands what you're saying. Also, children will need coaching and reminders on manners throughout their childhood. It's best to give positive reinforcement, that is, when your child does something right, let them know. When your child does something wrong, do not be negative about it, but gently tell them how it is best done and why.

10 Basic Manners for Kids

1. Waiting their turn and not interrupting other people when they are speaking. No one can be heard if there are too many voices at once. Gently tell them to wait until someone is done speaking, and then ask their question. Be sure and give your child your full attention when you are done speaking so as to reinforce their positive behavior of waiting their turn. While your child is patiently waiting, hold their hand or put your arm around them to let them know you are aware of their presence.

2. No name calling. Even if it's in "fun", name calling hurts. Instead of labels, ask your child to explain what the behavior is that bothers them.

3. Always greet someone when they come over to your house. Depending on your level of formality, you can teach your child to shake hands with adults who come over, but it's not necessary to shake hands with other children. But, your child should always say, "hello" or "hi" when someone visits so that the guest feels welcome.

4. Say, "Please" and "Thank you" often. It shows respect and appreciation. In addition, if they are thanked, then say "You're welcome".

5. Clean up after yourself. Whether at home or at a friend's house, always pick up after yourself. It's their mess, so they need to clean it up. If your child does leave a mess, remind them that they need to clean up before the next activity can begin, and stick to it.

6. Good sportsmanship. After playing a game (sports, cards, board game) , no matter the outcome, be pleasant. If your child wins, tell them to not gloat or show off, but be kind. If they lose, don't sulk or get mad, but be a good sport and tell the other child(ren) "good game" or speak well of them.

7. Take compliments courteously. If someone praises your children, teach them to be gracious and say, "thank you", and avoid putting themselves down or pointing out flaws.

8. Opening doors for others. When going into buildings, allow elders to go first and open the door for them. When preceding others into a building, don"t let the door slam in the face of those behind, but hold the door until the person behind can grab it. Also teach your children that if someone holds the door for them, then remember to say "thank you".

9. Exiting/Entering etiquette. Elevators: allow those in the elevator to exit first before entering the elevator. Same with buildings or rooms - if someone is exiting the building or room through the same door you are entering, let them exit first.

10. Respect differences. When people do things differently from your family because of diversity in culture, race, or religion, then teach your child respect. Point out how interesting it is or how different families do different things. Families have their own traditions or rituals and it is important and has meaning for that family.

The above was borrowed from: http://www.drdaveanddee.com/manners1.html

Table Manners

For informal dining situations, it's okay to rest an elbow on the table if you're not actually eating. But, if you're eating, then only rest the forearm or wrist on the edge of the table. One doesn't want to be hunched over their food. At formal functions, no elbows on the dining table.

Tell your kids that table manners are more than about proper eating, it's about being kind and considerate of others. Also, tell them although you know that they are smart and nice, other people will judge them on how they appear. Having proper table manners is one way people judge others, and they wouldn't want people to think that they're yahoo's, do they?

Whether in a restaurant or in a home, here are some basic table manners to teach kids:

1. Eat with a fork unless the food is meant to be eaten with fingers. Only babies eat with fingers.

2. Don't stuff your mouth full of food, it looks gross, and they could choke.

3. Chew with your mouth closed. No one wants to be grossed out seeing food being chewed up or hearing it being chomped on. This includes no talking with your mouth full.

4. Don't make any rude comments about any food being served. It will hurt someone's feelings.

5. Always say thank you when served something. Shows appreciation.

6. If the meal is not buffet style, then wait until everyone is served before eating. It shows consideration.

7. Eat slowly, don't gobble up the food. Someone took a long time to prepare the food, enjoy it slowly. Slowly means to wait about 5 seconds after swallowing before getting another forkful.

8. When eating rolls, break off a piece of bread before buttering. Eating a whole piece of bread looks tacky.

9. Don't reach over someone's plate for something, ask for the item to be passed to you. Shows consideration.

10. Do not pick anything out of your teeth, it's gross. If it bothers you that bad, excuse yourself and go to the restroom to pick.

11. Always use a napkin to dab your mouth, which should be on your lap when not in use. Remember, dab your mouth only. Do not wipe your face or blow your nose with a napkin, both are gross. Excuse yourself from the table and go the restroom to do those things.

12. When eating at someone's home or a guest of someone at a restaurant, always thank the host and tell them how delicious it was, even if it wasn't. Again, someone took time, energy, and expense to prepare the food, show your appreciation.

The above was borrowed from: http://www.drdaveanddee.com/elbows.html

Here are some of the topics listed on their website:
Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette
Cross Legs At Ankles
Exiting Car Properly With Short Skirt
Formal Hour Begins After Six
Hats in House Etiquette Origin
Shoes On or Off in the Home?
Pointing Finger Rude
Sitting and Standing Elegantly

To view these topics visit there website: http://www.drdaveanddee.com/basicetiquette.html

These are not the only websites dealing with teaching your children manners, but they will get you started.

Public Manners
brought to you by Babies Online free services and information for new and ... When we're out in public my son seems to forget all the good manners he ...

Are you a good-manners model? - ParentMap
"People would often be shocked at how polite my kids were at such a young age, ... Modeling good manners is essential in raising polite children. ...

Kids etiquette guides, teach good manners, respect, polite children
Kids' etiquette, children's good manners at the table and in the classroom, polite kids, teaching respect, financial etiquette, good sportsmanship, ...

Teaching children manners
All about teaching your children good manners and polite behavior.

Teaching Children Manners
Tips for teaching your kids the basic social graces.

Manners For Children, Table Manners For Children, Teaching ...
Teaching children manners, social skills, and etiquette to build character, self-esteem, and successful futures. The fun way for kids to learn manners. ...

FamilyFun: Child Development Expert: A Manners Primer
Teaching your child how to be polite. ... Nine Tips for Teaching Manners
Three Areas to Focus On ... Stumbling Blocks ...

New Tool for Teaching Manners to Kids
that parents believe manners are an essential value to teach children. While “do as I. do” is an effective teaching method (if you’re mannerly yourself of ...

How to Teach Your Child Manners - eHow.com
How to Teach Your Child MannersIt's never too early - or too late - to teach your child about proper etiquette.

Manners Matter: Guidelines for Parents
Elbows Off the Table, Napkin in the Lap, No Video Games During Dinner : The Modern Guide to Teaching Children Good Manners (A useful guide for parents). ...

Family.org - Focus Over Fifty - Why Manners Matter: Teaching Kids ...
That said, teaching good manners to children takes patience, commitment and a loving attitude. Here are a few pointers for parents and grandparents wanting ...

MANNERS MATTER! Try four easy ways to teach kids how to behave. ©. 2002 By Dr. Charles Fay. In all parts of their lives, children with great manners have a ...

Teaching Children Good Manners By World Renowned Artist Cheryl Melody
Teaching Children Good Manners:Teaching Children Important Values That Will Last A Lifetime...Antibullying, Tolerance, Self-Esteem, and More Through The ...

Everyday Ways to Teach Children Manners & Social Skills
Teaching manners gives children a way to put respect into action. These manners. must be sincere,heartfelt, and well-intentioned. ...

Manners for Kids (and Parents) and other behavior resources at ...
Which type of etiquette is the most important to teach young children? ...

MANNERS: parenting strategies by Dr. Marilyn Heins
HOW CHILDREN LEARN MANNERS. How can parents best teach a child the ...
How important is it to teach children adult manners and when should parents start? ...

Smart Kids 101..teach kids social skills, teach kids manners ...
... tool in teaching children how to make proper introductions, demonstrate telephone etiquette and table manners, and be polite in public settings. ...

Etiquette Trainer
To hold Etiquette Training and Manner Classes for Children, become Certified Children’s Etiquette Trainer. Etiquette Moms training program is guide to become children's etiquette trainer.
Books on teaching children good manners!

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Follow this link, Teaching Children Good Manners, for more information on this subject.

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