1. Do not interrupt others while they are speaking. Gently tell them to wait until someone is done speaking, and then ask their question. Be sure and give your child your full attention when you are done speaking, as to reinforce the positive behavior of waiting his/her turn. While children are patiently waiting, hold their hand to let them know you are aware of their presence. 2. No name calling. Whatever the reason, name-calling is wrong. Ask your child to explain what the behavior is about someone that bothers them. Also, don’t accept a child saying “I was just joking.” It’s never a joke when someone is made to feel rejected or ridiculed. Voice your anger and disappointment if your child has taunted someone. Have her apologize to her victim and perhaps others. 3. Say, “Please” and “Thank you.” In addition, if they are thanked, then say, “You’re welcome”. The parent needs to say please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, as well. The child will pick up on the parent saying them. 5. Clean up after yourself. Explain that the child cannot continue on to the next activity until the mess is clean. STICK TO YOUR WORD! 6. Good sportsmanship. After playing a game (sports, cards, board game), no matter the outcome, be pleasant. If your child wins, tell him/her to not gloat or show off, but to be kind. If they lose, don’t get mad, but be a good sport as well and tell the other child “good game.” 7. Take compliments courteously. A child is never too young to learn how to graciously accept a compliment. Our tendency is to downplay a compliment with a comment such as, “it was nothing.” While in our mind we may feel that this is the appropriate response what we are really doing is being rude to the person offering the comment. Encourage them to look the person in the eye and respond with a meaningful thank you. One of the easiest ways to teach this skill is to role play with them a situation where they might receive a compliment.
8. Opening doors for others. When going into buildings, allow elders to go first and open the door for them. When preceding others into a building, don’t let the door slam in the face of those behind, but hold the door until the person behind can grab it. Also teach your children that if someone holds the door for them, then remember to say “thank you.” 9. Social Etiquette. Start kids young with learning how to set the table appropriately, and then talk to them about general etiquette rules. Approach manners as a game. One night a week, try to have a somewhat more formal dinner. Try dressing up, serve a special meal, and expect more formal manners. That will help improve your kids’ social graces. Work on one social skill at a time. Don’t overburden a child with too many lessons at once.