Make your manners. One single phrase. It means, be polite, say hello, say goodbye, be respectful and grateful to hosts and hostess. It is a call to action.
I am teaching my children to make their manners and you should be doing it with your kids too.
My children must make their manners when arriving and leaving an event or someones home. This is especially imperative when arriving and leaving a birthday party. With four boys ranging in ages 3-8, birthday parties seem to account for most of our social events these days; and that is a good place to start.
The older children in our family only need to hear, “Make Your Manners” to understand all it encompasses. My younger kids still need reminding with step-by-step instruction. But eventually, they too will know what to do when I remind them to make their manners.
Reminding a child to make their manners is simply reminding them to be polite when arriving and leaving a social situation. I find it sinks in best when told right before we walk in to the event.
Remember to find the birthday boy, wish him a happy birthday and say thank you for having me. You also need to find his parents and tell them thank you for having you. Only then may you go play. Say please and thank you and if you don’t like the food being served simply say no thank you. When the birthday boy is opening gifts, pay attention and tell him you’re happy for him.
When its time to leave, please don’t give me trouble, don’t ask for more time or complain. Make sure you find the birthday boy and thank him again for including you; tell his parents the same. You can also tell them you enjoyed the party. Don’t expect or ask for a party gift; if one is given, remember to say thank you.
When I tell my children to make their manners, I am enforcing a call of action I expect from them: Treat others with respect and gratitude.
The world would be a better place if we all remembered to make our manners.
This post was originally posted on The Bene Life Blog. Follow Kathleen Benefield as she raises good boys and lives a good life.