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Have We Lost Our Manners? Five Courtesies to Teach Our Kids

Etiquette Blogger Janine Ottley shares five courtesies we should be teaching our kids.


1. Chew with your mouth closed, please!

No one wants to see what you're eating and if someone asks a question, nod and finish chewing before answering. It's a great habit for kids to get into when they're young- don't want to see it; don't want to hear it being chewed.

2. Answer the phone with confidence

This is one that has to be practiced, but when done correctly, you won't believe the thank you's you'll get from the person on the other end. Good phone manners should include speaking clearly, identify yourself, asking the person who has called to identify themselves, and not yelling while holding the receiver.

3. Take your compliments with grace.

How often do we dismiss a compliment given with, "oh that's SO not true" or "you're too nice"- It's lovely when someone takes the time and effort to compliment you and it's even nicer when you can 1. Accept the compliment by saying, "thank you" and 2. Give a sincere compliment back. We are teaching our children how to accept praise from others and also teaching them to look for the positive in others.

4. Show respect to elders.

When children are in situations with those older than they are, children should show a healthy amount of respect. Adults should be addressed by Mr. or Mrs. unless that adult requests otherwise. Any adult, whether a teacher, a leader in an organization, or a clerk at the grocery store, should be shown respect and this begins by teaching our children respect.

5. Keep "face-to-face time" technology free.

With tweets, and facebook updates as well as texting and email, we have so many ways to communicate with those around us. When we are face to face with others, having a conversation without your cell phone in your hand is crucial to good communication. I heard a great tip once, if you wouldn't pick up a crossword puzzle and start it in that particular situation, don't pick up your cell phone.

These five tips are a great start to good manners. Combined with showing our children respect and love, these tips can help them pave the way to excellent etiquette!


Janine Ottley is a passionate entrepreneur who likes nothing better than to start new businesses and make them profitable. The variety of businesses she has owned includes Vintage HemĀ® clothing company and most recently she started The Pink Teapot blog where she now focuses most of her attention. When Janine is not working, she likes to travel, garden, quilt, and spend time with her husband and four beautiful children. Janine can be reached at thepinkteapot@gmail.com.

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