The list of some of the most important manners etiquette experts say we should teach kids is from my book Building Moral Intelligence:The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Check off any your child already uses. Those that remain are ones you can help you child learn.
Essential Polite Words
_ You're welcome.
Meeting and Greeting Manners
_ Smiles and looks person in the eye.
_ Shakes hands.
_ Introduces self.
_ Introduces other person.
_ Starts a conversation.
_ Listens without interrupting.
_ Looks at the eyes of the speaker.
_ Uses a pleasant tone of voice.
_ Appears interested in the speaker.
_ Knows how to end a conversation.
_ Knows how to maintain a conversation.
_ Comes to the table on time.
_ Knows how to set the table correctly.
_ Sits up straight.
_ Places napkin on her lap.
_ Takes his hat off.
_ Makes only positive comments about food.
_ Waits for the hostess to sit before serving or eating.
_ Puts modest portions of food on his plate.
_ Eats food only on his own plate.
_ Eats soup without slurping.
_ Knows proper way to cut meat.
_ Doesn't grab serving dishes or reach over someone for food.
_ Knows how to use utensils correctly.
_ Keeps his elbows off the table.
_ Chews with her mouth closed.
_ Doesn't talk with food in his mouth.
_ Places knife and fork sideways on plate when finished.
_ Asks to be excused before leaving table.
_ Offers to help the hostess.
_ Thanks the hostess before leaving.
_ Greets guest at the door.
_ Offers guest something to eat or drink.
_ Stays with the guest.
_ Asks guest what he'd like to do.
_ Shares with the guest.
_ Walks guest to the door and says good-bye.
Anywhere and Anytime
_ Covers mouth when she coughs.
_ Refrains from swearing.
_ Refrains from belching.
_ Refrains from gossiping.
_ Holds a door for a woman or elderly person.
_ Greets host's parents.
_ Picks up after himself.
_ If spending the night, keeps room in order and makes bed.
_ Offers to help the parent of the host.
_ Thanks his host and her parents.
Manners Toward Older People
_ Stands up when older person comes into the room.
_ Helps older guests with their coats.
_ Opens the door and holds it open when an older person leaves.
_ Offers his seat if no chair is available.
_ Is considerate of older people's physical needs (hearing, vision, and so on).
_ Holds the car door and helps person into the car if necessary.
_ Is considerate and offers any help.
_ Doesn't address the person's shortcomings (wrinkles, hearing loss, cane, and so on).
_ Plays by the rules.
_ Shares the equipment.
_ Encourages her teammates.
_ Doesn't brag or show off.
_ Doesn't cheer mistakes.
_ Doesn't argue with the referee.
_ Congratulates opponents.
_ Doesn't make excuses or complain.
_ Stops when the game is over.
_ Turns off cell phone or beeper at movies, concerts, or other public places.
_ If she must use a cell phone at a public place, does so quietly so as not to disturb others.
_ First greets the person and says name.
_ Politely asks to speak to the person he is calling.
_ Answers with a clear and pleasant voice.
_ Asks the caller,"Who's calling, please?"
_ Greets the caller by name if she knows him.
_ Politely says, "Please hold on" while she gets the intended speaker.
_ Takes and gives a message.
_ Politely ends a conversation.
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