Top 5 "Hanging Out" Etiquette Tips for Teens

Share these tips with your teens to help them gain and keep friends, and to impress their friends' parents.
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I have a 16-year old daughter, and I just sent her abroad to stay with another family for two weeks. When I put her on the plane, I hoped that I had done my job as a parent to help her know how to fit in with this other family, make friends while she was over there, and be a polite guest while in their home. So far they haven't sent her home, so I am assuming my "talks" (lectures) about having nice table manners and cleaning up after herself have paid off, and that they like her, she's fitting in, and that she will be welcomed back there again some day.

Whether we send our kids off to another country, or simply to a friend's house around the block, it's important that they know what to do in order to get along, make a good impression, and be welcomed back. Here are some simple tips to help your child be a polite host and a good guest in someone's home.

1. Be Easy

Remind your teen that not everyone or every family does things that they do, and so it's important to adapt to other ways of doing things. For example, if they are at a friend's house and they eat a type of food that they have never had before, that it is important to try it. Then, if after trying the food and they don't like it, not to make a fuss or ask the host to make them something else.

2. Be Nice to Everyone

As soon as you walk into the house, greet the parents with a smile, firm handshake, and say "It's nice to meet you" or "Nice to see you again." Then, spend a few minutes chatting up the parents and any siblings who might be around. Making a nice comment about their home or asking how they are is a good conversation opener. If other kids come over to hangout, remind your teens that they also need to include them and make them feel comfortable.

3. Have Polite Table Manners

Most parents do notice if your child has nice table manners, and if your teen doesn't, it will only be a bad reflection on you. Make sure you have taught your child how to eat properly before, during and after a meal before you send them off to eat in public! For dining etiquette reference, click HERE.

4. Don't Be Connected to Electronics

This goes for when your teen is a guest in someone's home or when they are hosting others. It's silly to be in the same room with a friend yet to be on their cell phone Snap Chatting other friends the whole time. If you can teach your teen the importance of being in the moment and how good it is to actually do something with their friend instead of spending all of the time on-line, they will develop better relationships.

5. Be Considerate

At any age, it's important that people are considerate of other's feelings. Being a teen this means that it's important to teach your kids to be a good friend to others by showing interest in them and what they like doing, being happy for their friends when good things happen to them, and also "being there" for them when things don't go well. Showing interest, empathy, and support in others will help your teen develop very strong friendships.

For more information on etiquette and social skills for teens, younger children, and adults, please go to my website which is Contact me with any questions you might have to