25 Manners Every Kid Should Know By Age 9
Manner #1 When asking for something, say "Please."
Manner #2 When receiving something, say "Thank you."
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.
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.
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.
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."
Manner #18 Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine.