Download This Free Manners Guide for Kids
Manners that every parent needs to teach their child.
Finesse Worldwide, Inc.
According to recent research, children with good social skills are as adults "more likely to succeed, make more money, and be happier than those children who do not have good social skills."
If you are unsure of exactly what to teach your kids to have good manners and social skills, I've listed below many tips to help. And, if you click HERE, you may print your own copy of these tips to share with your family.
Manners are like the rules of a game; they tell you what to do and how to succeed. Listed below are some etiquette and social skills tips for children. Post these tips and share them with the family.
Cell Phone Etiquette
Make house rules. Like that no one is allowed to use their cell phone at the dinner table. This includes not leaving the table during a meal to answer the phone.
Use it for good not evil. Kids should not make calls before 9:00 am or after 9:00 pm. Having a cell phone is a privilege that can be taken away if they misuse the phone by posting anything mean about someone else, or doing something that isn’t safe.
The cell phone goes away during homework and family time. If your child is always “plugged in”, they cannot concentrate on anything or anyone else.
Polite Greeting, Introductions and Small Talk
Polite Body Language. Teach kids what “polite body language” means – direct eye contact, nice smile, and a firm handshake! If your child can do all of that when meeting someone for the first time, they will make a great first impression with your friends, their teachers, new kids, etc.
It’s nice to meet you. Remind your children what they need to say after they have been introduced to someone. Proper things are to say “It’s nice to meet you”, and then to use their last name and add “Mr. Smith”. Kids should always call an adult by their last name unless the person asks them to call them something else.
Then what? After the introduction, kids need to remember to make small talk which means to answer questions fully and then to ask a question of the adult. For example, they might say “I’m fine thank you. How are you today?” Or, “I live in Charlotte, NC. Where do you live?” Making good conversation is like a volleyball game and the ball is like a conversation going back and forth over the net between two people.
Teaching Tip: Practice, practice, practice. Teach your children what to do and then have them practice meeting someone, looking them in the eyes, smiling, giving a firm handshake and then making polite conversation.
Sportsmanship: Etiquette Tips for On and Off the Field
Do not write or post anything via text, email, Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else that is negative about another person, or could harm your reputation or career in any way. While we all support freedom of speech, there is no need to publically share your every thought and feelings to anyone who will listen. You want to make a name for yourself based on your athletic abilities not on what you write about someone else or do in private.
Do NOT text, email, tweet, or put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want repeated on CNN, your coach to read, or your fans to see. Innocent posts of you drunk at a party today could have serious negative consequences tomorrow.
Refrain from saying anything negative in public about the other team, players, or coaches. When it gets out the only person who will look bad will be you.
Be a role model. If others look up to you because of your athletic ability, you have a responsibility to your fans, your team, and to yourself to “do the right thing.”
Play fair. No one is a winner when you cheat.
Show respect. To the other team, fans, and your coaches. Be the better person first and you will become the better team as well.
Social Media Etiquette
Do NOT text, email, tweet, or put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want posted on the front cover of “People” magazine, your school Principal to read, or your grandmother or future employer to see. Love may not last forever, but all of your tweets will!
Do NOT use social media as a weapon! Writing, tweeting, or posting something mean about someone might make you instantly feel better, but it will come back to bite you. Take for example, Hope Solo, soccer goalie for the USA Olympic team. Her ranting tweets about someone she didn’t agree with made national headlines and the only one suffering because of this situation is her.
Cyber-bullying is even worse than saying something in person because the message can reach more people within an instant and you can’t take it back. You are just being a coward by hiding behind your phone or computer. If you are upset about something or someone, do the right thing and talk to them in person or take action to make positive changes.
Use social media to connect with family and friends, but do not use it to replace face-to-face conversation especially about important issues or when giving bad news. If you are talking to someone in person and your phone rings or a text comes in DON”T answer it! Show respect to the people you’re with and give them your undivided attention!
Writing Thank You Notes
It’s not old fashioned! While most kids, and their parents, might think that hand-writing a thank you note is “old fashioned”, it isn’t! In fact, because not many people take the time to write a note and send it via “snail mail”, when a person actually does receive a hand-written note they are extremely impressed! Yes, saying “thanks” in an email or by phone is nice, but when you take the time to put pen to paper, address an envelope and put it in the mailbox, you will make a positive lasting impression!
Teaching Tip: If your child is 6 or older, you can purchase (or even make) some stationary with envelops for your child, give him/her a book of stamps, and then teach them how to address an envelope and write a proper thank you note.
Timeline: The birthday girl/boy should write a hand-written thank you note for each gift he/she received within 2 weeks.
If you’d like your child to open gifts during the party, please coach him/her and practice, practice, practice their “happy face” and a sincere “Thank you so much for the gift.” Your child should take the time to read each card, look the person in the eyes, say thank you for the gift (even if they hate it), and say something nice about it as well.
Tell your children not to be picky eaters when attending a party because the host does not want to make them something different (like the one boy I know who only eats white bread and apples!). If they don’t like what is served they can politely say with a smile “No thank you.”
Remind them to sit still at the table during the meal, to use their napkin not their sleeve, chew with their mouth closed, not to burp, sit up straight, and then wait until everyone has finished before leaving the table.
Dining Etiquette for Kids at Home
Help out. Children can help prepare the food and/or set the table for dinner.
Wait for everyone. Kids should sit properly in their seat and then wait for everyone else to be seated before they begin to eat. During the meal there is no reason to leave the table unless it’s to go to the bathroom.
Teach basics. Encourage children to hold their fork properly (like a pencil), put their napkin and the hand they’re not eating with in their lap, keep their elbows/arms off the table, and keep their mouth closed when chewing.
Magic words. Say “please” and “thank you” and pass the food to the right.
Give thanks. At the end of the meal ask to be excused and then say “Thank you for dinner.”
Restaurant Etiquette for Kids:
Remind your children ahead of time what behavior is expected of them. For example, no running around, talking loudly, and that they must use their best manners.
Bring something into the restaurant to entertain them if needed. This can be an activity book or something quiet for them to play with while waiting for their food.
Remind kids about the basics. Silverware is used from the outside of the plate working in towards the plate. Remember when there is food on the table the elbows and arms stay off the table. Your napkin immediately goes in your lap, and sit with your feet in front of you. Pass food to the right.
Don’t pick things up. If they drop something on the floor they should not ever go onto the floor to pick it up. If something like your napkin or fork drops just politely ask the waiter for a new one.
Children’s Telephone Etiquette at Home:
Inform the caller. Each family may decide what they feel comfortable with, but when a child answers the phone it is polite for them to inform the caller who they are. Options are for example: “Hello, this is Luke. May I ask who’s calling please?” or, “Hello this is Luke Smith. May I ask who’s calling please?” Or, “Hello, this is the Smith residence. May I ask who is calling please?” Preference goes to having children state their full name because then it identifies for the caller exactly whom they are talking to and that they have reached the correct number.
Take a message. If the person the caller is looking for is not home, ask your child to take a message with the person’s name and phone number. Having paper and a pen by the phone is helpful.
Bend the truth. If no adult is at home and your child answers the phone, he/she should not let the caller know they are alone. Instead have them say “I’m sorry, my mom/dad cannot come to the phone right now, and may I please take a message?”
Talk nicely. Remind your children to not mumble into the phone, talk too quietly or loudly, or yelling for someone to pick up the phone.
After reading all of this and you are still looking for additional information or videos to help teach your children manners, please visit my website HERE. I also offer group classes for schools and groups and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.