Remember Your Manners

Seldom does my South Carolinian daughter come home to Tennessee for a visit that she doesn’t make a comment about how nice the people in Johnson City are!  Every time she says that I am reminded that it really is important to put our best mannered foot forward whenever we’re with others.

Included in “others” is our own family.  Children need to be taught manners while they’re young so it’s second nature.  Manners isn’t just southern culture – it should be a part of a Christian’s reputation.  We should be the most thoughtful people – putting others before ourselves.

That being said, what are some of the manners a child should be learning?

  • Saying “Please” and “Thank you!”
  • Asking to be excused from the table.
  • Putting their napkin in their lap.
  • Never using the napkin for a hankie.
  • Chewing with their mouth closed.
  • How to pass the food at the table.
  • Writing a thank you note for a gift (have pre-writers color a note card and tell you what to write)
  • Not interrupting when others are talking.
  • Answering the phone politely.
  • Being respectful to those older than they are.
  • Walking on the right side of the sidewalk.
  • Waiting to enter an elevator until those inside have exited.
  • Calling adults Sir and Mam 
We have to remember that our example before our family is the best teacher.  You don’t have to pound out the rules like a teacher, but make remembering them a game.  For example, say:  “Who can have good table manners tonight?”  Give everyone 5 M&M’s.  If you break a rule, you lose an M&M.  Or, anyone who forgets to put their napkin in their lap before they begin to eat has to stand and sing “Row, row, row your boat” out loud. The kids will love it when Dad has to stand and sing a solo at Pizza Hut!
Our good manners should stand out to others, like an East Tennessean in town!
How do you teach manners at your house?
With love,

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