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Children need to learn manners from adults

Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners
Mrs. Abramovitz, would you talk to us about good manners at home? -JL

What a great question and what a great time to ask it. It’s interesting that we are often more polite to strangers than to our own family members. It might be that the people who are closest to us will love us regardless of how we act; however, they’re also the ones we can hurt the most by being rude and really are the very ones we need to be the nicest to. I would like to offer the following: Make pleasant conversation, keep conversations polite (when you need to state an opposing view, do it with respect), check yourself to avoid blurting out something rude, and when you make a mistake, don’t let too much time go by before apologizing.

Also, create acts of kindness. Why not be especially kind to the people you’re closest to? Parents, make sure your actions are in line with your commands. We tell our kids to be polite, say please and thank you, and sometimes we forget to perform these acts at home. Don’t let your kids get a mixed signal. Children need to learn manners from adults who are good role models. When they get older, they’ll have more confidence if they know what to do. And lastly, be a good neighbor. You don’t have to be best friends with the people who live next door, but knowing their names, their pets and their children can be beneficial for all.

Mrs. Abramovitz, would you give us your top ten good habits of etiquette? -TM

Be on time. Be generous. Be in the moment. Use good table manners. Don’t forget to RSVP. Send a thank you note. Dress appropriately. Hold the door. Respect others. Be pleasant. That was right off the top of my head. I know I’ll likely want to revise later, but because those came so easily, I’m going to go with them. Thank you for asking!

“Etiquette is all social behavior. If you’re a hermit on a mountain, you don’t have to worry about etiquette. If somebody comes up the mountain, then you’ve got a problem. It matters because we want to live in reasonably harmonious communities.” – Judith Martin

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