25 Manners Every Kid Should Know by Age 9

Lacye - posted on 05/10/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




Helping your child master these simple rules of etiquette will get him noticed -- for all the right reasons.
By David Lowry, Ph.D.

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 etiquette. But if you reinforce these 25 must-do manners, you'll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child.-

Manner #1

When asking for something, say "Please."

Manner #2

When receiving something, say "Thank you."

Related: Kid-Made Thank You Notes

Manner #3
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.

Manner #4

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.

Manner #5

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

Manner #6
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.

Manner #7
Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.

Related: Raise Polite Kids

Manner #8
When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

Manner #9

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.

Manner #10
Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.

Manner #11
When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

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.

Related: Print and Color Cards for Birthdays, Thank-Yous and More!

Manner #13
Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.

Manner #14

Don't call people mean names.

Manner #15
Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

Related: Raise a Compassionate Kid

Manner #16
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.

Manner #17
If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."

Related: Quiz: What's Your Parenting Style?

Manner #18
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.

Related: How to Handle Inappropriate Behavior

Manner #19

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

Manner #20
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.

Manner #21
When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.

Related: Use this Table-Setting Map as a Guide

Manner #22
When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!

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.

Related: Mrs. McVeigh Weighs in on Proper Utensil Use and More!

Manner #24

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

Manner #25

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


This seemed really interesting to me because I know several people who's children don't do hardly any of these. Are some of these manners more important than others or should they all be taken into consideration?


View replies by

Candi - posted on 05/16/2011




I taught my kids these, but they try to get away with not using them when parents aren't around. I am huge on Thank you notes. They must be handwritten and I insist my kids take time to write them neatly.I wish my MIL ahd been taught the rule about interrupting. Sshe is the world's worst about that. I thought at first it was b/c she didn;t like me, but she does it to everybody. One time I was in the middle of a sentence and she interrupted me with another thought completely off subject. I had to wonder if she was even listening to what I was saying in the first place. My daughter is bad about it too, but at least I know where she gets it from. lol

[deleted account]

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

How would you like it if a 9yo came up to you and said, "You have great tits"?

It's a compliment, isn't it?

[deleted account]

Manner #2 is a big one for me. Thank you notes are grossly under used in our society! Getting one from a child is rare in my experience, but worse is all the adults who ignore this important custom. My mother drilled it into my head. If I didn't write a thank you note, I was nagged ad nauseum until it was finished. Today I understand why she did that:

If a person takes the time to give you a gift, the least you can do is express your appreciation for it.

Mary Renee - posted on 05/11/2011




Wow, if only my mother-in-law taught these to her son!

BTW, I'm huge on Thank You Cards. It started off just because I wanted to stay in touch with far away relatives and enjoyed sending snail mail. Then years later when I had my daughter the fact that I stayed in touch with there people and always showed my appreciation came back tenfold when they all sent me gifts and savings bond for my daughter!

Also, I think it goes deeper than just polite-ness. When my grandparents passed away I think some of my cousins might have struggled with it a bit more than me saying "I wish I would have told them I loved them, I wish I would have thanked them for always thinking of me on my birthday" I knew with out a doubt that they knew how much I loved them and appreciated them.

[deleted account]

There are manners on this list that are not relevant to how we raise our children, but as Sara said that is cultural rather than those manners being out dated.

For us saying please, thank-you, excuse me, and sorry are incredibly important, we are in the process of teaching our 18 month old these - he says ta (thank-you and has just started saying sor (sorry), we just keep repeating the phrases as appropriate i.e. when we give him something we say thank-you and when he wants something like juice we ammend his sentence to say juice please etc.

Rules 6 and 7 I feel are a little out-dated, I would rather if my son was not happy he tell us why he is not happy than just not say anything because his feelings are negative and likewise as long as he is discrete if he has a question on somebodies appearance for example when he sees a person in a wheelchair then I don't see why he shouldn't be able to ask it (to me or his dad). There is a difference between being rude and commenting on a physical appearance, I intend on teaching him how to notice things without being rude.

Brie - posted on 05/10/2011




manners are very important... i plan to teach these to my son as i was taught growing up... it seems that kids these days (omg i sound like my mother lol) don't really have any manners what so ever... it is very rare to see these manners used... even so with a lot of adults... i see it a lot of times i will hold the door for someone (regardless of age) and about 7 out of 10 times i get a thank you.. even a smile or nod or hell even eye contact would be nice but there are times i get nothing like i should do it and that is that... usually i'm the witch who says rather loudly your welcome when that happens but oh well... drives me crazy...

Amy - posted on 05/10/2011




yay. that list actually made me happy. my daughter's already copied letters for thank you notes. she told me what to say and i'd put the words on the note and she'd trace them and sign with her backwards Gs and all. my kids do most of those up there [2 and 4 yrs], but both and even my husband has problems with nose picking! lol

only one we're big on that wasn't up there is when someone is speaking to you, look them in they eyes so you give them full attention.

i do not always have napkins at the table. I should, I suppose.
Munro leaf has a good book too "how to behave and why." we like that one.

[deleted account]

Manners are important to me. I think this is a good list to use as a guideline. Of course, some manners are cultural or regional. I'd add say, "Ma'am" and "Sir" because that's how we roll around here. I understand that some regions of the United States and the world consider that rude. If we lived there or visited there, I'd teach my children accordingly.

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