According to the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary, good manners are described as the ways of behaving toward people, especially ways that are socially correct and show respect for their comfort and feelings.
Good manners are not genetic. They must be modeled and taught throughout a lifetime to young children as they navigate social settings. As perceived in our society, good manners would be considered politeness, saying please, thank you and excuse me, respecting others’ opinions, not interrupting someone, looking others in the eye when speaking to them, putting others first and having a good attitude. It is a good idea to start mirroring these habits when children are as young as one year old. Awareness of others’ feelings begins as early as 18-months old, and children between the ages of one and two can start to use “gentle words” like please and thank you, especially during dinnertime at the table. However, learning to be considerate of others is a lifelong education and one that promotes ease in social settings. Kids who understand and develop polite behavior at a young age are at a distinct advantage in the world: teaching manners is a way to set children up for success and experience positive relationships.
According to parents.com there are 25 manners kids should know. Here are a few:
#1: Say “please” when asking for something
#2: Say “thank you” when receiving something
#3: Don’t interrupt adults speaking, unless it is an emergency
#4: “Excuse me” is the polite way to get someone’s attention
#5: Negativity is not a way to win friends
#6: When spending time at a friend’s house, remember to thank the parents before leaving (a good reminder to teens!)
#7: Knock before entering
#8: Don’t make fun or say ugly things of others
#9: Cover your mouth if you sneeze, and cough into your sleeve
#10: Hold the door for someone behind you
#11: Volunteer to help out
#12: No complaining or grumbling (good for teens!)
#13: When at the table, ask for items to be passed (no reaching)
“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
- Emily Post, famous American etiquette author and guru.
To view the complete manners list, visit:
Photo by Raj Vaishnaw on Pexels
Aimee Serafin, editor of the Augusta Family Magazine.