Helping Kids to Mind Their Manners

Manners 315

Though most parents strive to teach children niceties like “please” and “thank you,” good manners don’t begin and end with those magic words. What about the tot who squirms at the dinner table and jumps up after two minutes? Or the grade-schooler who runs wild at friends’ homes? How about the high-schooler who shrinks during introductions?

If you’re raising a manners-challenged child, you’re not alone. Childhood manners mishaps are as common as children themselves, says Chris J. Rock, etiquette coach and founder of Etiquette and Protocol Consulting in Winston-Salem. The good news: Childhood and the teenage years are the times to learn and practice appropriate behavior, and mistakes are expected. Even better, swift etiquette intervention can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of civility.

Read on for our age-by-age guide on helping kids mind their manners.

> Table Training: Ages 0-5
> Social Graces: Ages 6-11
> Introduction Anxiety: Ages 12-18