School Manners

School Manners

Shake handsGuess what? It is almost back to school time already. The stores are stocking up on school supplies, uniforms, new shining shoes, and lunch boxes. But are your kids ready for all of the social challenges awaiting them? Together we can get them (and you) prepared.

Be a Positive Example

Manners start at home. The way you act around your kids and the way your kids see you act around others is the foundation of their manners and thus their future. Think about your typical morning routine. Are you organized and focused? Do you stay calm when time starts getting away from you? Do you give your children the attention, time, and physical contact they need and desire? By making time for your children, whether joining them at the table for breakfast, chatting during the drive to school verses being on the telephone, or sitting down this them after school to debrief and share their day, shows them they are valuable as well as teaches them how to value others.

Another aspect of manners is being able to respect others. The way your children will gauge your respect for others will, in part, be influenced by how they see you treat everyday situations; traffic laws, crossing guards, or meting deadlines/appointments. If you think it is okay to disrespect authority, they will too.

Talk to Your Kids about Manners

Talk to your kids about manners. Teach them the three R’s before they get to school: Respect for self; Respect for others and to accept Responsibility for all their actions. Talk to them and show them how to develop strong character and personal integrity, and share your knowledge and your skills to the best of your ability.
Some basic to reinforce in and out of the classroom:

  • Be on time
  • Don’t tell lies – to anyone
  • Don’t answer back
  • Don’t be noisy or disruptive
  • Co-operate with others
  • Pay attention and be present
  • Don’t talk while others are speaking
  • Don’t fight, pull, push or shove anyone. Don’t steal from anyone
  • Never bite anyone
  • Pick up your own litter
Authored by: Constance Hoffman

Constance Hoffman is owner of Social and Business Graces based in Los Angeles County, a full range protocol training company, which focuses on business and social skills for professional adults and teaching children how to place their best foot forward. Often referred to as “The Modern Day Ms. Manners”, Constance has been featured on The Learning Channel, ABC News, in OK! Magazine and the Los Angeles Times Newspaper. Her first guidebook, “Tips on Tipping”, is now available on her website,

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Ann Gambrell at 10:20 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hello Constance,
    Wow…I am so impressed and pleased to see your article. This is something heavy on my heart for a very long time and especially when I witness the behaviors you address in this article. I have dchildren and grandchildren and volunteer at a local (Torrance) grade school. Bravo to you!!
    I also am a writer for the What’s Up For Kids paper edition and Ezine. If you are in the Torrance area I would love to have coffee with you. All my best and my best to you in your very important work.
    Ann gambrell
    Creative time-Plus
    BTW…I am a professional organizing consultant, teaching organizing classes, and have clutter support groups in the So. Bay area. I hope we meet soon.

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