25 Manners Kids Should Know

Need an etiquette refresher? Helping your child master this list of good manners will get him noticed — for all the right reasons.

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baby pouting
sarahnoda/shutterstock.com

Your child's rude 'tude isn't always intentional. Sometimes kids just don't realize it's impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly observe that the lady walking in front of them has a large behind. And in the hustle and bustle of daily life, busy moms and dads don't always have the time to focus on teaching etiquette. But if you reinforce these 25 must-do manners, you'll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child.

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Manner #1

Please
Shannon Greer

When asking for something, say "Please."

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Manner #2

Thank You
Shannon Greer

When receiving something, say "Thank you."

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Manner #3

mothers and daughters
Image Source/ Veer

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.

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Manner #4

mother and daughter
Image Source/ Veer

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

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Manner #5

mother talking to child
Image Source/ Veer

When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.

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Manner #6

Girl with scruched up face

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.

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Manner #7

two year old

Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.

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Manner #8

mother and child in kitchen
Reed Davis

When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

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Manner #9

girl holding her bear and sleeping bag

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.

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Manner #10

toddler hiding behind door
Dreamstime

Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.

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Manner #11

When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

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Manner #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.

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Manner #13

funny things kids say
Robyn Lehr

Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.

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Manner #14

saying something
Alexandra Grablewski

Don't call people mean names.

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Manner #15

friends hugging
Christa Renee

Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

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Manner #16

girl looking bored
iStock

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.

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Manner #17

father and son on walk
Fancy Photography/Veer

If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."

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Manner #18

child picking nose
Alexandra Grablewski

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.

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Manner #19

child opening door
Frank Heckers

As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.

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Manner #20

boy washing car
Jill Chen/ istock

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.

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Manner #21

folding laundry
Fancy Photography/ Veer

When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.

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Manner #22

getting dressed for school
Fancy Photography/ Veer

When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!

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Manner #23

Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.

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Manner #24

child at dinner table
Werner Straube

Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.

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Manner #25

thanksgiving
Fancy Photography/ Veer

Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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