I’m not a parent who believes in old school theories like “kids should be seen and not heard,” or telling little boys to “suck it up,” things like that. We’ve learned so much about child development and how important emotional intelligence is during our kiddo’s formative years, and we know that many of the ways our parents and grandparents did child-rearing weren’t helpful.

I also don’t believe in forcing children to respect every adult, even ones who certainly haven’t earned it, simply because of their age.

That said, manners really do go a long way in this world – and if nothing else, your child having good ones should make their dating life a whole lot easier one day.

12. Answering Questions

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When someone asks you a question, it is polite to respond, or at the very least, acknowledge that you heard them.

11. Please and Thank You

It’s simple, but you wouldn’t believe how many kids don’t do it.

10. Respecting Privacy

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Knock before you enter a room. It’s that easy!

9. Excuse Me

This is one of my pet peeves in other adults – if you bump into someone on accident, or brush people as you move through a crowd, you say excuse me (or pardon me).

8. Proper Table Manners

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No one wants to look at your half-chewed food, no one wants your feet near the table, and everyone wants you to clear your own plate. Full stop.

7. Not to Interrupt

I hated this horrible habit before I had kids, and was set on teaching mine not to interrupt. There are easy alternatives you can give you kids for getting your attention, but then you teach them to wait until you’re able to take a break.

Patience really is a virtue.

6. Removing Shoes

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This isn’t a cultural norm in America, but it should be. There are too many icky things on the bottoms of our shoes to be wearing them in the house.

5. Always Asking Permission

The adage “it’s better to ask forgiveness” was said by a jerk.

If they’re not sure about something, they should ask first.

4. Cleaning Up After Themselves

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Toys, clothes, food…it’s no one’s job to clean up after your kids (not even yours!).

3. Good Sportsmanship

This one is huge for making friends later on! Your child should be able to congratulate someone who beats them at a game or on the field – it’s not a big deal to lose, this isn’t the Olympics!

2. Not Littering

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This is the only planet we have and way too many people treat it like a trash can. Don’t let your kid be one of them.

1. Covering Their Mouths

If you’re not teaching your kids to cover a sneeze or cough in this day and age, what are you even doing?!

I plan to make sure my boys have excellent manners and know how and when to call people out for being jerks – it’s all a balance, people!

What manners did you think were the most important to teach your kids? Tell us in the comments