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Teaching Kids Manners: Questions Every Parent Should Ask

When is the last time you sat down and had a purposeful conversation with your kids on the topic of manners? If it has been a while, here are some questions you can ask to assess how manners-wise your children are.

Anxiety workbook for kids

You are not alone if intentional training on issues related to manners seems to have fallen to the way-side lately. Our schedules are so jam-packed that manners training seems to be one of the first things we let slide for the sake of “time.”

Free printable on manners

May I suggest that we re-think this mindset? Let’s elevate manners back to its rightful place and spend some intentional, purposeful time with our kids to help them learn and implement some necessary social skills.

Below are some questions that every parent should ask their children on the topic of manners. You may find that your kids’ answers will both shock and amaze you. Use them as a jumping off point for future conversations. For some questions, more than one answer is right – it is just a matter of personal preference.

For a free printable to have at your fingertips for your family discussion, click here.

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:31

1) You are standing in the grocery store check-out line with Mom or Dad. Do you:

a) ignore the cashier?

b) say hi?

c) smile?

2) When someone hands you something, what two things do you do? (make eye contact and say “thank you”)

3) A friend comes to play at your house and makes a mess of your room. What do you do? What do you say?

4) Your teacher says something that you know is not true. Do you:

a) correct her in front of the class?

b) say nothing?

c) tell her later she is wrong?

d) say privately to her, “I thought it was ______.”?

5) When you need a tissue, how do you ask?

6) When you don’t like a food, what do you say? What don’t you say?

7) When you eat a meal that someone else has made do you:

a) say nothing?

b) point out what you liked about the meal?

c) say you have had better?

d) say “thank you.”

8) When you walk through a doorway do you:

a) check to see if someone is behind you?

b) hold the door for someone behind you?

c) go right through?

d) let others go first?

9) If you see someone is struggling to carry something do you:

a) offer to help?

b) think: “I’m just a kid, I can’t help.”?

c) usually not even notice?

10) If someone has gotten you a gift that you don’t like, do you:

a) tell them?

b) try to find something about the item that you do like?

c) say thank you?

d) remember that you have many other things that you do like?

11) When you really want to go somewhere but you have to wait, do you:

a) wait with a smile?

b) get really involved in something else?

c) whine and complain that you are tired of waiting?

12) When you are done eating at the table, what do you say? What do you do?

13) When you need something, how do you ask?

14) When you get something out at a friend’s house do you:

a) leave it and get something else out?

b) put it back?

c) assume they will clean up after you leave?

15) If you see two people are taking but you have something to say, do you:

a) interrupt because what you have to say is really important?

b) say “excuse me” over and over again until someone hears you?

c) wait until there is a break in the conversation?

d) hold the hand of the person who you need to talk to until they ask you to speak?



This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

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About Laura

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura is a licensed clinical social worker who offers individual therapy to women and moms in Connecticut. She is the author of More Than a Conqueror, A Christian Kid's Guide to Winning the War on Worry. Cornerstones for Parents is the place she combines some of the things she is most passionate about: God's word, parenting and mental health.

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