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Do your kids have good manners?

Do your kids have good manners?
This blog post was inspired by this cute chart I came across today.  I REALLY think it does a good job in covering the most important ones.
I know as a mom, I am very concerned that my kids try to always have good manners.  I have five kids that range from 20 months to 16 years of age.  They all are expected to have good manners.  When they go to a friend’s house, I have high expectations of my kids.  I expect them to have good manners at all times. 
The problem with manners in a society is what qualifies as “good manners” is very subjective and can vary from person to person and even from culture to culture. 
My parents always expected us to have good manners and therefore I have passed this trait on to my kids.  Sometimes I fail and sometimes they fail in the manners department but overall, I have engrained at an early age that they must have good manners.  It is important to me.  I value myself and other people having good manners. 
When my kids were small, I focused on saying please and thank you at the appropriate times.  I remember that it took a while for them (and a lot of practice) to automatically say thank you when someone handed them something.  I like in the South that people say “Yes Ma’am and Yes Sir” but I am ashamed to say that I have not insisted on this with my kids. 
As a former teacher, I spent twelve years coming across kids with amazing manners and kids with very poor manners.   The way a parent raises a child has an impact in the child’s choices and habits.  If I had a student curse me out, it did not surprise me if I had a parent conference and the parent was disrespectful to me too.  The apple does not fall that far from the tree.
It used to dive me crazy when I had the same kids come in tardy every day to my class.  It is very disrespectful to be tardy to class.  You are sending the message to your teacher that you don’t respect their time or their job by being on time.  One time I told a girl after the twentieth time of showing up late to my class that really must have no respect for me and must think that I was a joke.  Guess what?  She continued to be late (and no…she did not have a good reason).  I could not believe that she continued to show up tardy to my class after I told her “Please stop doing this.  It is very disrespectful!”
Back to manners
Expectations for my children
  • I expect them to say please and thank you at all times. 
  • They have been taught that they NEVER are to invite themselves or ask for an invitation.  If someone wants you to come with them, they will invite you. 
  • When my children go to one of their friend’s homes, they are NEVER to just go into family’s pantry and get things out of it.  Again, it is respectful for the host to offer food and drinks.  I have told them it is ok to ask for water.    They are NEVER to just go into someone’s fridge without the host instructing them to do so. 
  • Be respectful to adults at all times, even if they don’t give you the same respect.  You cannot control adults, only yourself. 
  • I expect my kids to share and to not be selfish.
  • I expect my kids to offer things first to their friends if they invited their friends over and then take the leftovers for themselves. 
  • I expect my kids to put a napkin on their laps when they eat.
  • I expect my kids to eat with their mouth closed when they are eating and not talking with their mouth open. 
  • I expect my kids to clean up after themselves at their friend’s house. 
  • I expect my kids to call adults Mr. or Mrs.
  • I expect my kids to be thankful and gracious while they are at other people’s homes.
  • I expect my kids to open the door for people.
and finally….
I expect my kids to be kind to all people. 
My question for you is this:  What manners are important in your household?

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