[deleted account] ( 38 moms have responded )

Should a child learn to say, "Please" and, "Thank you" ? Should a child wait their turn in line? Should a child know that when adults talk, it's time to listen?

What manners are important to you?

What manners should we be teaching our children?

What do you think of kids (or adults) who have no manners?


Isobel - posted on 02/18/2010




I think everybody's gonna get on this thread and say just how important it is to teach your kids manners, then they are going to talk about how they are teaching their kids great manners...but if you look at the kids out there today you'll realize that a lot of us are kidding ourselves. I was amazed myself when teaching my kids to say please and thank you...just how many ADULTS I had to remind to say please and thank you to my kids.

[deleted account]

I have to say that when im out and about with my kids nothing makes me prouder than to hear one of my kids politely saying thank you to someone etc. Ive done my best to teach them manners and even my they are pretty good most of the time. What annoys me the most is the ignorance of others, a man in front of us dropped his wallet out of his pocket while walking down the street my oldest son picked it up and ran after the man to return it the man took it from him and walked away. The least he could have done is say thank you. Older people are always moaning about hoodies and the yobs of today and then when a 11 year old boy (wearing a hoodie lol) acts honestly and returns his wallet he cant even be civil to him. They then go on to wonder why kids are not bothering with manners and being honest. Drives me mental i was so proud of my son though.

Johnny - posted on 01/31/2010




I think it is extremely important to teach a child manners as early as possible. Please, thank you, excuse me, you're welcome, pardon me, etc. As well as holding the doors open for people, proper bathroom etiquette, table manners, public transit etiquette and patience when waiting in line. Not only should these things be taught through instruction but also by example. I agree with you Megan, when I worked with the public, I found it alarming how many children had absolutely no manners. But then the same goes for adults. I see some despicable behavior on a daily basis. Spitting, shoving, and complete lack of bathroom etiquette stick out in my mind. But apparently there are many people out there who were actually raised in a barn.

I'm certain that my daughter will forget these things quite often, and myself or other people may have to remind her. But I just don't want her to have the blank and confused look on her face like I got from a 10 (ish) year old boy to whom I offered a spare cookie to the other day at Starbucks. He just took it and walked away. I said, "don't you mean Thank You?" He looked at me without a clue and his mom just smiled stupidly. What an example!


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Amanda - posted on 02/19/2011




My son who just turned two uses his manners very well. I cannot stand a child who is rude and has no manners. My son will not get anything without a "Please" "Help please" ect. He is to say thankyou for all things that he is given, "excuse me" and "sorry" Even though he is only two he knows when and how to use his manners and always seems to amaze people in public on how polite he is. He is always willing to help.
Coming from a background of childcare and the number of rude disrespectful chidren and parents I have come accross it was very important to my husband and I that our son be taught the correct way to behave.

[deleted account]

I was raised by parents who taught me good manners. I spent most of my time with my grand-mother and a lack of manners is completely unacceptable. My son has been saying please and thank you for quite some time now and is getting the hang of saying "excuse me" when he farts/burps, etc. Throwing food or anything else and hitting, are not permitted and he does say sorry and picks up what he threw (as much as he can).

He is also very particular about people saying "you're welcome" after he says thank you. He will keep repeating "thank you, thank you, thank you" until we acknowledge him.

I think it's very important to be a good example and both my husband and I have been raised to be polite so we use manners with each other and with the kids also... It makes a world of difference in how quickly and how well they start using manners.

I work in customer service and a lot of people are rude as adults and then come complaining that "today's kids" are impolite... ugh

Sherri - posted on 02/15/2011




One of the very first words learned by all my children was Please and Thank you. Children should all wait their turn in line? Get up and let an adult sit if there is no other seating.

Children or adults with no manners we avoid at all costs and if it is in public I will certainly make it known to the ill mannered child or adult.

Chrissy - posted on 02/15/2011




Yes, a child should know manners. They learn it in school so it should be practiced at home also. There are so many teenagers nowadays that could care less about any respect. Yes, a child should learn when its time to listen and whenits time to talk. Manners that are important to me are manners you want others to show to you. Like, please, thank you, sharing, and respect. Kids and adults that dont have any manners is not a surprise to me. When you go into a high school and a kid walks in listening to their ipod or talking on their phone when they know they r not suppose to. And when asked to put it away they say why. Its only common sense the teacher is trying to teach. You know they dont respect their parents or they were never taught respect.

Lyndsay - posted on 03/09/2010




Well... when I was growing up, the only time I had manners was when I went to visit my grandparents. I was taught that there is a time and a place for everything, and I was taught how to be respectful when I need to be. It is kind of the same for my son. He is very good at saying thank you for everything that he recieves (though I admit, I'm a bit lax on the please), and I expect him to wait his turn in lines and share toys with his friends. When we are out for dinner, we sit at the table and play quietly with our toys or draw... we don't run around the restaurant screaming. That kind of thing.

Pretty much... I don't want him to be a selfish little brat who thinks the world should bow down to him.

[deleted account]

I think manners are important to everyone, and it makes all of us feel good when others use them towards us, but it is very easy to get caught up in our lives and forget them (at least, that's what I tell myself when I encounter rude people).

I have taught my son all of the basics of conversation (please, thank you, ma'am, sir, etc.) as well as the common courtesies (giving his seat and picking up dropped objects for elderly/disabled, holding doors, etc.). We also address adult friends by their title and first name, and adults with whom we are unfamiliar by their title and last names.

As for meal etiquette, I'm a little more lax. He will signal the waiter by putting his glass near the edge of the table and placing his silverware in the proper cross on his plate and pushing it towards the center of the table when finished, and I expect him to chew with his mouth closed, but I could care less if he uses the proper utensils or keeps his water glass on the left. Being left handed, I never could follow that rule properly, and I use the salad fork for EVERYTHING because my mouth is small and it's just easier. Obviously, I use the proper manners at family dinners and such, but I there is no way I can expect my son to remember at this point since we don't do it on a regular basis.

Thank you notes are also an important one to me. My son and I write Thank you notes for every Birthday, Christmas, and occasional gift we receive, yet in the past 5 years, he has never received a thank you note from another kid for a birthday gift!! I've only received a couple for wedding gifts. I was taught that they were not optional, we wrote them for EVERY gift or act of kindness, and I just don't understand why people don't think they need to spend 5 minutes jotting down a thank you letter and dropping it in the mail. I hate that because now, at age 5, my son is beginning to question why we do them and other's don't.

[deleted account]

Yes it's important. Sometimes kids are sow to learn and it takes persistant reminding from parents and other members of the public. I have no problem with other adults correcting my son by reminding him to say his P's & Q's, I actually welcome it. Sadly many people are scared to do this today for fear of confrontation with parents and even a lawsuit.

Christy - posted on 03/08/2010




manners are very important to me. i am working on please, thank-you, and excuse me for bodily functions with my 19 month old right now. she says please every time she's supposed to and is getting better at remembering thank-you. if she forgets them we say "what do you say?" and she gives the correct response. she's really good with excuse me and we just started that one 2 or 3 weeks ago.

i don't expect her to call my friends by ms, mrs., or mr. but when she's old enough to have playmates outside of our friends an family i will tell her that she's to call their parents by ms., mrs., or mr. "insert last name" unless they tell her otherwise. i also like her to call her uncle Uncle Troy.

[deleted account]

Yes of course children should learn manners and from a young age too. I was taught to say please, thank you etc. So many children and adults these days don't know what it is to have manners. Sometimes when I hold a door open for someone do I get a thank you? No but I always do when someone holds a door open for me. I think people who have no manners know no better as they havn't been taught to do it but surely they should realise as adults that there's a way of doing things. And as for people jumping a queue!!!

Rose - posted on 03/06/2010




I do believe that learning manners is very important early on. Kids now a days are so rude and it drives me to no end! My daughter always says please thank you and sorry also she waits her turn and says excuse me when she has a bodily function. She is only 2 and more polite than most school aged kids.

Belinda - posted on 03/06/2010




We refer to all adults we are friends with as Mr or Miss "insert first name here". Adults that we are not friends with are Mr. or Mrs. "insert last name here". So if I ask my daughter to take something down the street it would be "Can you please take this to Miss Amanda?"

I would be a little offended if a child just referred to me as Belinda. But I also realize that a lot of people don't do I wouldn't say anything. My daughter would probably correct them though...bless her little heart.

Sometimes she forgets to say please or thank you...but with a "What do you say? reminder she will correct herself. As long as a child is generally polite (especially young ones), you can cut them a break for forgetting once in a while :)

Gina - posted on 03/06/2010




I made sure my daughter has manners, shes 11 and i've always told her how important it is.when she was younger she asked why it was important, so i made a point of asking her to do some things and not saying please and thank you, after the third time she burst into tears saying I was been rude and i hurt her feelings!!! She is always polite no matter how shy she gets and she is respectful though she's almost a teen and learning 'whatever' lol

Jane - posted on 02/26/2010




Please, thank you, excuse me when someone else is talking, excuse me when you have any kind of bodily function and all other basic common courtesy type things are all and always have been required in my home. My kids are 16 and 20 now and I am constantly complimented by friends, family and strangers on how polite my kids are.

Kids and adults alike that do not have proper manners just annoy me...period!

[deleted account]

Manners are good. :) My son has been say 'peas' (please) and 'da doo' (thank you) for quite a while now.

As for the name thing... except for teacher and doctors, pretty much everyone over here is Auntie and Uncle instead of Ms/Miss/Mrs and Mr to all the kids. I like it. :)

Shelby - posted on 02/23/2010




Manners are very important!!! I think that it will help them in the long run. However the older they get, The more you know whether or not they mean it. Excuse me can take on a WHOLE new meaning!!!

Charlene - posted on 02/23/2010




Unfortunately, it seems as though manners are going the way of the dinosaurs... Extinct.

And it's not just kids these days. Anyone in the service industry will be quick to tell you that adults, parents are just as rude and mannerless as children, if not more so.

My daughter is only six months, so manners haven't come into play really, but I plan on teaching her to be polite and kind. Please, thank-you, yes sir, no ma'am, excuse me, pardon me, I'm sorry. When she learns how to write, she'll be writing thank you notes for gifts and when she is big enough to open doors, I will teach her to hold the doors for others. She'll need to learn to wait her turn and share her toys. I guess, pretty much the same as everyone as mentioned.

I don't know about the Mr. and Miss/Mrs. thing though. For my friends, she definitely wouldn't need it, but I think I would like for her to use it with the parents of her friends.

Lady - posted on 02/23/2010




It's funny I've never taught my children to call anyone Mr or Mrs except their teachers, I've never really thought of it because I always called all my mums friends by their first names (I do teach them all the other manners though - please, thank you, may I be excused ect...) but just recently one of our friends has started working at my oldest daughters school and she has to call her Mrs Heaton where as she has always called her by her first name before, Now when we're all together she's not sure what to call her so ends up saying both.

JL - posted on 02/22/2010




My kids use Mr and Mrs when they refer to adults. If we know them well then they say Mr and Mrs in front of the first name. Like they call my best freind and her husband Mrs. Teresa and Mr. Jim and her kids call me Mrs. Joy. Now if they do not know the people or it is in setting like school they say Mr. and Mrs in front of the adults last name. I don't like for them to just refer to an adult by their first name without saying Mr. and Mrs, because I just grew up being taught that it was a measure of respect and noted who the adult and had authority in the situation.

Isobel - posted on 02/22/2010




I don't think it's an Aussie thing. It seems to have happened here in Canada as well...I don't mind it either (but it makes my boyfriend CRAZY)

I think it's a result of all the divorces, and mothers keeping their maiden name. When we were kids we could be quite certain that a kids parents' last name was the same as theirs...not so anymore.

In my house all the kids would have to remember three last names :) So I don't mind if they just simplify it and call me Laura. I do insist though, that my kids call the older generation Mr. and Mrs.

C. - posted on 02/22/2010




Well, I think that children should definitely mind their manners. The ones that are important to me are as follows:

-saying please and thank you
-sharing toys with other kids/cousins
-waiting patiently in line w/o complaining
-saying excuse me if they have a bodily function (burp/pass gas)
-not throwing food at the table
-not throwing tantrums in public OR at home
-saying sorry if they hurt somebody physically or emotionally
-saying you're welcome when someone says thank you
-smiling and saying hello when someone says hello, or even before someone says hello
-saying bye when someone leaves
-telling loved ones they love them
-obeying when someone tells them No.

Now, my son is only 19m right now, almost 20m, so I am still working on a few things with him, But he does say please/thank you, you're welcome, hi/bye, saying sorry and he loves me (and daddy), saying excuse me and he's pretty good at sharing his toys with his cousins (though some of his cousins are not as nice about it).

Jodi - posted on 02/22/2010




Fiona, interesting what you say about using Mr and Mrs in front of names. When I was a child (I am 40, so I grew up in the 70s and early 80s), it was common to call some parents by their surnames with the Mr and Mrs, especially if you didn't know them that well, and also if they were older parents (generally from the 50s rather than the 60s). But if we knew them well, we called them by first name.

I remember back in high school, by Year 11 and 12 we were calling quite a few of our teachers by first name, and they encouraged that. I lived in a small country town, so maybe that's why they felt more comfortable having their older students on first name basis, I don't know, but it gave me a great rapore with those teachers.

Nowadays, I actually encourage my kids friends to call me by first name, and I have no problem with that. Funny thing was that one of my daughter's friends (age 5) the other day was calling me Mrs Adams, and I told her she could call me Jodi, and she told me that no, her mum told her she had to call me Mrs Adams. I thought that was sweet. I must talk to her mum and check with her, but I am seriously ok with being called by my first name - in fact I actually prefer it :)

But back to the Australian thing, Fiona, maybe it is an Aussie thing. We tend to be quite casual about things like that.

On another note, I absolutely agree with please and thank you being a necessity. I work sometimes in my kids' school canteens as a volunteer, and am constantly correcting kids on their manners. I have absolutely no qualms correcting other children to mind their Ps and Qs!!! Most kids a really lovely, and have beautiful manners, but there are some who just stare at you and wonder WTF you are on about!!

[deleted account]

If theres one thing that really bugs me in life its people not saying thank you, if i go to the trouble of doing something for someone else i should be thanked. Manners dont cost a thing but they do make you feel like people actually appreciate what you've done.

[deleted account]

This is great for me to read. Growing up, my own father had a bit of an anarchistic/rebellious streak and used to infuriate my mother by saying he never saw the point in teaching us manners and that we should be allowed to be free spirited and not restricted by social norms that he felt were becoming outdated (he was a bit of a hippy). This was just one point that my parents differed on greatly in their parenting styles and one of the reasons that they eventually separated.

My mother always said it is important to learn manners, that way when children are grown they can choose whether or not to use them, but at least they will know what to do if they choose so. She taught us impeccable table manners, to wait our turn, to be fair and kind, to wash hands after toilet and before all meals, to open doors for others, offer up seats to others, to help out with chores such as dishes when visiting, proper use of language including please, thank you, no thank you, you're welcome, excuse me (instead of what, or when adults are talking and you need to say something, or after burping or coughing etc), bless you and more.

I will teach my child all of these and other manners I use on a regular basis, it just makes the world that much nicer to live in when manners are used. As for using Miss or Mr in front of first names of adults, that is new to me as an everyday thing(I am from Australia, don't know if that is why or if I just haven't come across it in use -I have read it in American books). It sounds lovely, but very 'proper' and I don't know how it would go down in my social circle. I think a lot of my friends would feel it was a bit awkward or stiff if my child referred to them as Miss Julie or Mr Daniel etc. Again, not sure if that is a cultural or a generational thing or what. Growing up, my parents friends encouraged me to use their first names so I guess that is what I am used to.

Geralyn - posted on 02/21/2010




Meghan,you raised a good point with using Mr. or Mrs. before first names. It seems that at preschools and elementary schools near where we live, its well accepted to call the teacher Ms. Linda, for example, where as other schools, you have to use last names. What is the norm? This is my dliemma. As my 22 month old son meets my friends, do I refer to the person as Mrs. Smith? Or Mr. Taylor? That is how I was raised, but it seems soooooo awkward. I certainly don't want my son (eventually when he's talking more) using first names, but is Mrs. or Ms. or Mr. respectful enough? I can't now refer to my friends by their first names and then when my son hits a magic number, all of a sudden he must start using a last name. And the name etiquette differs regionally. SO what is accepted where I live could be offensive in another part of the country. I have really thought about this.... Very confused....

[deleted account]

I teach all my daughters manners, and I use my manners as well (I always want to be a good example!). I have actually had total strangers tell me how well mannered my children are and I love it! My 7 year-old is very polite and even holds doors open for people. My 2 year-old doesn't always remember "please," but she's got "thank you," "you're welcome" and "bless you" down pat. The 1 year-old, well she's too young right now, but we always use our manners in front of her so she can see the example!

I actually have a pretty funny story... We were at the store one day and while in the checkout line the lady behind us sneezed. Our 2 year-old said "bless you" and then just stared at the lady, no blinking, no looking around, just staring at this strange lady behind us. The lady leans over to me and asks "Why is she staring at me?" To which I reply "She told you bless you, so she's waiting for you to say thanks you." The lady laughed, leaned down to my daughter's level, and says "Why thank you little girl!" What does our 2 year-old say? "You're welcome. I'm not little girl, I'm Nana!" (Her name is Nadia, but all the kids at dayvare call her Nana because it's easier for them to pronounce and the nickname kinda stuck). The lady could not stop laughing - it was so funny! :)

Saying all that, my hubby and I actually use kids with bad manners in public as examples fo our children. It's kind of like a game for our 2 year-old. She'll see a kid with bad manners and lean over and tell me something like "Mommy, that boy, he not say thank you!" It's really quite funny and actually a good learning tool for my kids. I do wish there were not kids out there like that, but the sad reality is that there are, so why shouldn't I use them as examples to show my kids how NOT to act?

JL - posted on 02/18/2010




I am from the South so manners are of the highest importance. My kids have been taught to have manners and to be respectful not just to their elders but to people in general. They are not to back talk, they must say please, thank you, your welcome, excuse me, may I, No ma'am Yes ma'am, No sir Yes sir. My daughter has been taught that it is polite to hold open doors and help carry things for people.My son is only 2 but he will be taught the same.

They are told to greet people with a smile and to politely say hello and to say thank you to any compliments they recieve.

I even have my kids hand write thank you notes to everyone who gives them a gift. I am big on Thank you notes in respect to receiving gifts. My oldest had been taught to give up her seat to someone who is elderly, pregnant, or disabled. THey are told to wait there turn. I tell my oldest that she has to let the little ones go before her and that she has to be patient and kind with them because they do not understand the concept of sharing at infant and toddler ages like she does.

I am big on not interrupting an adult with they are talking and not bad mouthing or teasing other children. No bullying ,picking at or excluding another child and if one of their freinds does this they are told to tell them that is not nice behavior and they don't want to play if they are going to act that way.

We also stress the importance of the indoor voice versus outdoor and table manners.

Amy - posted on 02/18/2010




I like the book "How to behave - and why" goes for adults and kids.

most definately need all these manners! please, thank you, yes ma'am, yes sir, honesty, "no, thank you" as a response instead of "no", waiting patiently - whether in line or for mom or dad to get done, sharing, when to be quiet - how to say excuse me when adults are talking if it's urgent, when to sit still, cover mouth when sneezing, coughing, holding doors for others, helping out [setting table, laundry, household chores etc], silverware are tools, not toys, no talking when people are on the phone....i guess i have a lot of manners as rules. didn't realize how much until i started writing them down. not saying she follows all of them - she's 3, but she does a decent job thusfar. my daughter reminds us all the time to put our seatbelts on, to say excuse me after WE burp. oh, and i just heard her say "thank you kindly" lol. it cracks me up when she says that. she watched Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. she also walks right next to us - we almost trip on her, but i'd rather her walk closely than scampering about.

Jocelyn - posted on 02/18/2010




oops my son pressed "enter" lol
Continuing on...
I get extremely irritated when I see a kid chewing with his mouth open, or if they are interrupting me, or they are grabbing for something they shouldn't have, things like that. I realize that every kid has phases where they aren't as polite as they should be, but if it's constant then I always end up thinking that their parents must just be to lazy to teach them proper manners.

Jocelyn - posted on 02/18/2010




I think it is very important for them to learn please and thank you, your welcome, pardon me (instead of "what") how to eat with utensils properly, chew with their mouth shut, don't cut in line, inside/outside voice, hold the door open, give up your seat for the elderly/pregnant, wait your turn, excuse me (afters burps and such).
I get extreamly irritated when I see a

Shaquim - posted on 02/18/2010




well my son is three and yes we teach him manners he holds doors says please and thank you, say excuse me when he needs to pray he say yes instead of yea and there is much more i feel that although he is so young he still needs to learn in order to get respect you need to give it

Amy - posted on 02/01/2010




I think the few you mentioned are things we are planning to have our child(ren) follow. I also don't expect a child to follow those manners when there young, but as the get older that they should start to have better manners (as they learn). My son is still very young and hardly talking, so I'm not really sure what age I would expect them to do that.

I also hope that my son will hold a door for someone in need, or walk an old lady across the street, ect.

Also, no phones at the table, or resturant. If were out to eat and he get's a call, he should walk outside, or at least away from the tale to talk. That is the one thing that drives me nuts the most! (My husband does it sometimes!)

Rude people make me mad, and I'm lucky that I don't deal with them too much :).

[deleted account]


Manners are important. Being from the South, manners also include ma'am and sir.

And I hate to be interrupted by a child when I'm having an adult conversation. I plan to teach my child that if she has something to tell me while I'm talking, she will give me a clue by touching my arm and when I'm done talking I will ask her what she needs. Unless of course there is an emergency.

Carolee - posted on 01/31/2010




One of my biggest pet peeves is people who have no manners (the really rude ones). As soon as my son could talk, I taught him to say "please" and "thank you" and when it was needed. He also knows when he needs to say "excuse me" and "you're welcome". I also teach him that ladies go through doors first, and we are learning (slowly) how to be patient. Yes, I let him be a normal kid and play around. He gets into wrestling matches with some of the kids he plays with, but I make sure they are just playing. I personally can't stand when kids are rude or mean.

[deleted account]

Carleigh always has to say please for ANYTHING she asks for...or she wont get it until she does...and she usually says thank you too although sometimes she needs a reminder... I used to work with the public and it amazed me at how many kids had ZERO manners and as well as the parents...its just stupid to me that you would raise you children to be ungrateful and rude...I think it shows low class and ignorance on the parents part...Carleigh also has to use the word Miss or Mr before speaking to an Miss Amy or Mr Kyle...I just think it is more respectful since she is a child...I still do that to people older than I. Shes learning the right time to say excuse me and she says sorry constantly...even when things are not her fault lol...if I bump her with the laundry basket she will say "Oh Sorry Mommy" lol...I just tell her that Im sorry too...I know she will understand later...

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