I grew up with three brothers and now live with two boys (one is my husband) and the other is my eight-year-old son, James. Now being the only female in the house makes life interesting, especially when it comes to teaching manners to my son (my husband is a lost cause – just kidding).

I get that kids sometimes don’t understand that their actions are considered rude or inappropriate, but what I can’t accept is when parents don’t take the time to teach the small things to better their children’s’ manners. Since I have a son I figured I would focus on the must-do manners that I am trying to teach my son. I think some will apply to daughters, but some are just more suited to little boys. Manner #1 – Say “Please” I feel like this should just be a natural thing that every kid learns, but for some reason mine wasn’t programed with it so everyday it’s a struggle. Manner #2 – Say “Thank You” Ever since my son was a baby, I would always repeat “thank you” after someone did something or gave me something. At around 18 months, my son started say “Tank Youuuuuu” and it wasn’t always in the right context, but it was adorable. Manner #3 – Don’t Pick Your Nose in Public I am not sure if boys ever grow out of this, but I am trying over here. Right now he does it when he thinks no one is looking so maybe that is a stride in the right direction. Manner #4 – Don’t Hit This one is extremely important since I feel like little boys think it’s funny to beat each other up. My son once slapped my hand away when I went to take his TV remote away and I nearly lost it. As he gets older, he seems to get that hitting is not right. Manner #5 – Say “Excuse Me” I can’t even begin to tell you how many times the phrase “excuse me” has been surpassed when it was definitely needed. I will be standing in the doorway and here comes James squeezing his way through the door way. Or when I am talking to another parent and James will poke, pull or just start talking to interrupt us. Manner #6 – Hold the Door I grew up in a family that would be late everywhere because they would spend at least ten minutes holding the door for every person that walked in to a place. My son is the same way. We went to a restaurant the other day and I don’t I saw him for five minutes because he held the door for three or four families that came in after us. Manner #7 – No Passing Gas in Public Whether it comes out their tooshie or out their mouth as a burp. I have made it a rule in my house that there is none of that allowed in public. Manner #8 – Offer Your Seat Up to Girls I know – old fashioned, but I still think it is so sweet when a boy or man offers up his seat to a girl/woman. Manner #9 – Respect Others Having respect for others and for themselves is a big one! I find it hard to teach respect and instead I just have to lead by example. Manner #10 – A Firm Handshake Now this one I only put on the list because I needed ten things (just kidding). I put this on my list because my dad would always say, “a man with a strong handshake is a sign of great character.” My son tries to squeeze the life out of people when he shakes their hands so I am pretty good on that one.
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