1. Say hello when someone greets you--This is a tough one sometimes if you have a shy child. But it's important to acknowledge others when they say hello. We're also working on making eye contact. Baby steps. :-)
2. Politely answer questions clearly-- We live in a fast paced world where our answers can be mumbled, rushed, or sound irritated. So we're working on POLITELY answering questions.
3. Say please, thank you and you're welcome--This one's easy. It just takes time, but hearing "Please and Thank You" going a long way in valuing other people.
4. Learn to loose gracefully--It's hard to loose, especially when you have a competitive personality. So loosing gracefully is a real skill. Our goal is to not just loose without tears, but to loose still being able to offer a heartfelt congratulations.
5. Keep unfavorable comments to yourself--Remember Grandma's saying, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" That's a great life lesson to benefit all of us not only in relationships, but in the work place as well.
6. Avoid gossip--Is it true? Is it helpful? Is someone in danger? Do you have this person's permission to share their business? If the answer is no, please consider it to be gossip and keep it to yourself.
7. Look at the person talking to you--This one goes back to #1. Acknowledging others shows that you value them and value what they have to say. Making eye contact goes a long way in building relationships.
8. Say good-bye to guests/ Say thank you to hosts--This one is especially important when they are invited into someone's home. Making sure to say "Thank you" shows appreciation for someone else's time and preparation.
9. Wait for others to be seated before eating--It's so hard to wait for dinner, but being patient, again, shows appreciation for someone else's preparation and enjoying a meal together.
10. Use utensils appropriately--Learning to use utensils properly, especially a knife, can be a skill that takes time and practice. So we practice with lots of patience. But we do practice so that our kids have appropriate dinner table manners.
11. Ask to be excused from the table--Asking to be excused gives parents a chance to acknowledge that the child has eaten well and cleaned his spot appropriately.
12. Ladies first--This is an easy manner to practice and typically one of the first that my children master.
13. Pick up after yourself--Being able to pick up and take care of one's belongings shows appreciation and can lead to healthy self-care. It's also shows appreciation and care for common areas of the home.
14. Be appreciative--If I haven't said it enough time already, APPRECIATION, APPRECIATION, APPRECIATION! Teach it, Practice it, Live it!
15. Apologize--Learning to look others in the eye, feel empathy, and take responsibility for one's actions is based a lot on maturity. But if we wait for maturity, we've missed the opportunity to teach empathy. Start teaching now for the pay-off later.
These are just 15 Important Manners we are teaching our kids every day.
What other manners would you add to the list?