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Manners Every Child Should Know

Updated on October 15, 2011
practicing at home is a good idea
practicing at home is a good idea

What the Last Gerneration Was Taught

When I was a kid, we were taught many things as being polite by my parents, for example a very simple thing - - when we were at the dinner table, we were not allowed to put our elbows on the table.

As parents, we tend to teach our children the things that we were taught as kids, but it seems to me that a lot of the very simple and common manners, and not just table manners, have been forgotten, not taught, or just left out as not being important.

I am going to list not only some of the most common manners, but ones that seem to have been left out when we taught this generation how to be polite, at their friends homes, at their grandparents house, and places like restaurants, boys scout meetings and other social gatherings where people in your community gather, and these things are noticed. I will begin with the kitchen and table manners, and take it from there.

  • Do not talk with your mouth full, or chew with your mouth open.

  • Do not put your elbows on the table when eating.

  • When passing food around and serving your plate, do not reach across the table.

  • Place your napkin in your lap before you begin to eat.

  • Be polite with your speaking and grammar, saying please and thank you when speaking.

  • When you are introduced to someone you do not know, say something nice, like "Hi, or Pleased to meet you."

  • When you are introduced to someone, shake their hand, especially if it is a more formal setting.

  • Be sure to wash your hands before sitting down to eat dinner.

These are the most common table and dinner manners we need to remember to instill in our children, both at home and away from home. These are the things that we want to remind them to do when they go to visit friends for dinner, or for overnight slumber parties or even a camp out.

Something else that I have noticed that isn't remembered much anymore, and this is for adults to do as well as kids, and that is when you are going to stop by a friends house, or even your extended family, always be thoughtful and call before you just pull into their driveway. Due to the fact that everybody now has a cell phone that they carry with them all the time, this call should not be made from their driveway, or even from around the corner someplace. It is a courteous thing to make the call from your house before you actually show up, for they may not even be home, or might have plans already. Here are a few more rules that should be taught, that have to do with friends and family and going for a visit.

  • Call before you arrive.

  • Make sure that if you are going for a visit, that you do not arrive too late for a visit. Arriving at someone house after 8 or 9 O'clock in the evening, or before 8 or 9 O'clock in the morning is rather thoughtless, even if you know the people well, for they might not be awake, or may not even be dressed yet. As a matter of fact, they may not be able to answer the door if they are caught in the shower when you knock at the door.

  • If you are staying someplace, perhaps on an extended stay overnight with grandparents or with a close friend, do not help yourself to food items in or out of the refrigerator, unless you have been given permission previously.

  • Always ask before you do anything at someone Else's house. Do not take it for granted that it is perfectly alright for you to take a shower, get a drink of water, or even play with a pet. It is better to ask, than it is to be embarrassed.

  • If you have been on an overnight stay with someone, before you leave, go and thank them for their hospitality, and for letting you stay. Always tell them you enjoyed yourself and had a very good time.

  • When dining at a friends house, always take your plate to the kitchen after you finish, and tell your host or the cook that it was very good.

  • When eating at a friends house, always offer to help clean up the kitchen after a meal, and making beds and picking up after sleeping over.

It might seem to you that these things are very obvious, and are done automatically, but this is not true, especially for children, and especially for children who have not learned these thoughtful practises before time at home.

If you have gotten a ride with somebody, it would be good manners to perhaps volunteer gas money if there is any amount of driving done.

If you or a child has been invited over to eat at a friends, always ask if there is something you can bring to compliment the meal. A salad or bread, or perhaps a beverage will almost always be accepted.

Never think that it is acceptable to sit down and help yourself to the use of another persons computer. Touching this sort of personal items without permission could assure you of never being invited over again, for some people are very sensitive about this sort of thing.

Teaching your kids these very simple ways of behaving, show others that you have taken the time to show your children how to act around others and in their home. Children who behave courteously and show good manners at the homes of their friends, reflect on you and your home. Another parent will know that you have taken time to teach your kids right from wrong, and will assure them that their kids are then in good hands when the roles are reversed and they are visiting your home.


Submit a Comment

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 

    7 years ago

    yes, manners are a lost art form. i cringe when people don't say please and thank you

    these words go along way!

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    7 years ago from Oxnard

    It is especially important to make the time to teach kids these things when you consider that babysitters, child care and even extended family do not always cover these issues.

  • gajanis786 profile image


    7 years ago

    Very nice .....yes I agree that it is the responsibility of every parent to teach their children basic manners at the very early ages so that they used to these for their rest of the lives.....but unfortunately, today's parents are very least concern about these basic needs and are not fulfilling their primary responsibilities as a parent....the consequences are what we are seeing every where around that children do not give importance to all of these etiquette hence ultimately bringing bad name to the society and specially their parents.Thanks.

  • crystolite profile image


    7 years ago from Houston TX

    Excellent hub in there and a must read to every parent because our kids keep to every thing comes out of the mouth of their parents.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    7 years ago from Oxnard

    Anybody that can feed a child gets a favorable from me these days...and you are correct, but I have had the opportunity to be the mom that the kids chose to hang out in with my kids, like a block mom, and they all called me mom. I would say a percentage of them were moderately polite, but none of them took their plates into the kitchen, and to this day they still show up at my house at 10 or 11, sometimes even at midnight if they feel it is important, and without a call. Hopeless I say, nobody does that if they were taught any sort of do's and don'ts.

  • JY3502 profile image

    John Young 

    7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

    DD, reading this took me back to my childhood and the things my parents taught me. I have met some younger people with atrocious manners. However, there are some who are very polite, And that does reflect on their parents favorably. Good hub DD.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    7 years ago from Oxnard

    Our children only know what we teach them, and if we want them to grow up to be proper, and the kind of person the world wants to be around, we have to teach them how.

  • EverettW profile image


    7 years ago

    I have been often told I am oldschool and to strict. Its good to see I am not the only one that believes in proper ways to raise kids. Check out my hubs, especially the new one on protecting our kids. Great info, please comment and spread the word. I am following you now.

    Everett Winchester


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