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25 Manners Every Kid Should Know by Age 9

Thanks to Teresa Burritt at Frog Blog for the pointer to this excellent list.
  1. When asking for something, say "Please."
  2. When receiving something, say "Thank you."
  3. Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
  4. If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
  5. When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
  6. The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
  7. Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.
  8. When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
  9. When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
  10. Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.
  11. When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
  12. Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
  13. Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
  14. Don't call people mean names.
  15. Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
  16. Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
  17. If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."
  18. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
  19. As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
  20. If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.
  21. When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
  22. When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
  23. Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
  24. Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
  25. Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

-Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

Good manners can replace morals. It may be years before anyone knows if what you are doing is right. But if what you are doing is nice, it will be immediately evident. ~P.J. O'Rourke

-Gelett Burgess

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use. ~Emily Post


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May. 11th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
Would that more adults had learned #10. I chewed a guest out one day for knocking as he was opening my door. He said, "Hey, I don't want to come in and find you [doing anything untoward]." My reply was, "Then you should knock, and wait for a response." Somehow, I doubt he understood, as he frequently does not listen.
May. 11th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
Now I know where the term "goop" comes from (as used in the song "Animal Crackers")

I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
It keeps them on the knife.
May. 11th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
3. We'd best determine what constitutes an emergency. "He poked me!"
5. I guess "Better to ask forgiveness than politeness" is a Family Unfriendly Aesop.
6. Few adults observe this rule at all times. Sometimes there's a good reason to complain.
7. Why stop at appearances?
8. I'm still new to fulfilling the second half of this one. In general, my rudeness comes in the form of what I don't do.
12. Somewhat redundant with 2.
15. Redundant with 14. I think Ms. Burritt was reaching for a round number.
18. Best to split this item in two. Also, the latest advice that I know of is not to use your bare hand to cover your mouth, lest you spread germs. Try a sleeve. (Of course, on some fabrics, the result will be quite visible.)
22. There's a definite pattern to the items with numbers ending in 2.
25. Agreed, but I now notice it's somewhat counterintuitive.
May. 12th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
This was not Teresa's list, she just re-posted it. It didn't need redaction.
May. 12th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, whoops.


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