By Adeline Woo

Children learn best by example. In other words, do unto your child as you would have them do unto you and everyone else. You cannot expect a child to do what you yourself aren”t willing to do-especially when it comes to being mannerly.

As a fellow mother, I do and try my best to teach my child manners that are respectful and right. The last thing I would want is for a complete stranger to reprimand my child in public which would obviously reflect badly on my child and myself, what I”m sure many parents would like including myself is for random strangers to compliment saying “What a obedient daughter you have”.

Here are 10 essential manners I would like my child to learn:

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  1. Please and Thank you. The word ‘please’ indicates humility and acknowledges the fact that we are interdependent on each other. The word ‘thank you’ expresses appreciation for what someone does for you. Expressing that appreciation conveys the message that you value that person in your life.
  2. Excuse me. These two words indicate a person’s knowledge of not having the right to put themselves before others.
  3. Interruptions should not be tolerated unless it is a matter of emergency. How disturbing is it to try to converse with a friend There are a number of different tiers of plans available on the Connecticut Health Exchange. or family member whose child can break into the conversation at any time to have his/her needs met or to simply draw the attention to themselves. Parents should draw clear boundaries on what constitutes an emergency vs. rudely interrupting a conversation.
  4. No thank you. No child is going to like everything they are served. All but one of my children even passed on birthday cake at parties (they didn’t like the icing). But instead of saying ‘ewww’ or ‘yuk’ or ‘gross’ or holding their nose and making gagging noises, children need to be expected to politely say ‘no thank you’ and let it go at that.
  1. Asking permission. By teaching your children to ask permission before playing with the neighborhood children, getting out their paint set, running through the sprinklers,  tc., you’ll be building a foundation that will likely still be standing when they become teenagers. FYI: this is a good thing. Asking permission acknowledges authority and respect for that authority.
  2. Proper greetings. Teach your children to greet people politely. This includes eye contact, shaking hands (especially with older people), not pulling away from Grandma and Aunt Hazel’s hugs and kisses, answering ‘yes’ and ‘no’ instead of ‘yah’ and ‘nah’ and using correct titles for people.

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7. Covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze. No explanation needed here.

8. Not talking with their mouth full and not chewing with their mouth open.

9. Not making fun of someone less fortunate or who is ‘different’ (handicapped, racially different, etc.)  Children need to learn early-on the difference between teasing and tormenting/bully. Teasing should not be encouraged, as it can be easily misunderstood and get out of hand quickly.

10. Hygiene. Flushing a toilet when they are done, rinsing the sink after brushing their teeth and not leaving a mess in the bathtub.