Good Manners for Kids: The Complete List

Manners you want to teach your child to do in order to live a happy, healthy, and helpful life.

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We all want well-behaved kids, however good manners for kids shouldn’t be overlooked either.
This complete list of good manners for kids will help you teach your children how to have consideration and respect in all settings.
From manners with adults to how to act with friends and manners while eating to manners at school, you can teach these 101 good manners for kids starting as early as possible.
You aren’t alone. Parents all over the world are just as frustrated as you are!

Good Manners for Kids with Adults

1. Look someone in the eye

When speaking or being spoken to, eye contact is essential for understanding.

2. Wait for the finish

When someone is speaking, let them finish before you begin.

3. Say “please” when asking

If there’s something you want, then ask for it politely.

4. Always express gratitude

Saying “thank you” for receiving anything should be done every time.

5. Respect your elders.

You don’t have to agree with them, but respecting what those older than you say is mannerly.

6. Don’t use foul language

Remember that certain words are offensive and aren’t used in polite conversation.

7. Ask before you touch or take anything

It’s poor manners to assume you can touch or borrow something that isn’t yours.

8. Treat other people’s things with respect

Don’t ruin someone else’s property, even if you asked politely to use it.

9. Always return borrowed items

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10. Respect privacy

When an adult requests that you not intrude on their privacy, make sure you listen.

11. Be tidy

You should always clean up after yourself and help everyone in your household by doing your share.

12. Always write a “thank you” note

When given gifts, take the time to pen a personal note to show your appreciation.

13. Be polite on the phone

When calling others, state your name and who you’re calling for, rather than demanding to speak to the person you’re calling.

14. Don’t interrupt

And if you must, please say, “Excuse me,” to get an adult’s attention.

Good Manners for Kids with Friends

15. Wait your turn

Sharing with others is one of the most magical parts of friendship.

16. Be kind with your words

Saying mean things can hurt people you care about.

17. Don’t use force

You shouldn’t hit or physically harm your friends in any way.

18. Be complimentary

Find positive ways to talk to your friends.

19. Reciprocate kindness

Share, invite, and include your friends as they do for you too.

20. Be a good guest

When visiting a friend’s home, show respect to elders, privacy, and property.

21. Don’t outstay your welcome

If invited to a friend’s home, leave when it’s time to leave.

Good Manners for Kids at the Dinner Table

22. Wash up before eating

Scrub your hands with soap and water before you come to the table.

23. Put your napkin on your lap

It’s not only polite, but it also keeps food from getting all over your clothes.

24. Chew with your mouth closed

No one wants to see tonight’s dinner chomping in your mouth.

25. Know how to use your napkin

Wipe your mouth gently, and should you get a piece of food that is too chewy, use the napkin to discard it discreetly.

26. Eat over your plate

While a napkin helps, you avoid messes by sitting properly at the table.

27. Don’t talk while chewing

You could choke, plus it will reveal food in your mouth while garbling your words.

28. Avoid slurping

In certain Eastern cultures, slurping is a sign of positivity. In Western culture, however, don’t slurp soups and sauces.

29. Elbows off the table

When eating, don’t rest your elbows on the table. If you need something to do with your other hand, keep it in your lap.

30. Know your utensils

Use the right ones for each course. A good rule of thumb is to start with cutlery on the outside and work your way in.

31. Know how to set the table properly

Ask to help your parents and put plates, silverware, napkins, and glasses into place.

32. Show politeness when being served

An appreciative “please” when you want something, as well as a “thank you” when you are served is in order.

33. Don’t make a fuss over the food

Even if you’d prefer to eat something else, complaining about it is quite rude.

34. Engage in polite conversation

Mealtimes are a great time to bond with family and a perfect time to practice listening, taking turns while speaking, and not interrupting.

35. Don’t use technology at the table

Phone calls, texts, games, and apps can all wait until everyone has finished eating and excused themselves from the table.

36. Ask to be excused first

It isn’t nice to just get up from the table after you finish. You should sit and carry on with the conversation. If there’s homework to be done, ask to be excused first before getting up.

37. Clear your plate and clean up

After being excused, make sure you clean up after yourself. Bonus: offer to do the dishes!

Good Manners for Kids in School

38. Respect your teachers

Always listen to and follow what your teacher asks of you.

39. Cover your sneezes and coughs

Use the inside of your elbow to avoid spreading germs to others.

40. Don’t pick on anyone for being different

Simply be kind to everyone you meet. We’re all different for a reason, and that’s a wonderful thing.

41. Speak the truth

Even if you did something wrong, be honest and admit it.

42. Be inclusive

It’s not only mean to leave classmates out that want to play but also extremely rude.

43. Respect the school

Be proud of where you’re learning and help take care of your classroom and campus.

44. Show respect to all school employees

While the teachers and principal deserve respect, don’t forget to be polite to the custodian and cafeteria workers.

45. Be a model citizen in transit

Children that ride the bus should sit properly, be kind to the other students on the bus, and listen to the bus driver.

Good Manners for Kids with Guests

46. Offer a welcome when opening the door

Guests should all be welcomed into your home with a polite smile and proper greeting.

47. Shake hands and make eye contact

When a new guest comes to your home, shake their hand and look them in the eye.

48. Offer something

All guests should be offered something to drink, such as a glass of water.

49. Invite them for a meal

If a visiting guest comes near dinner time, invite them to join you for the meal. If the guest is another child, make sure to ask your parents first!

50. Take coats and hang them

When guests come during colder weather, offer to take their coats for them.

51. Stand up for elders

When an older person comes into the room, the polite thing to do is stand up. For boys, a gentleman should always stand for any lady too.

52. Make proper introductions

For guests that come that haven’t met the rest of your family, make sure you introduce them to each other.

Good Manners for Kids with Guests

53. Don’t just drop by

Be sure to call and ask first or be invited before going to someone else’s home.

54. Establish a time

For arriving and departing, make sure you don’t wear out your welcome.

55. Wipe your feet

All guests should be offered something to drink, such as a glass of water.

56. Take off your shoes when entering

Not everyone has this rule, but it shows respect to ensure you’re not tracking dirt through their home.

57. Call adults what they want to be called

If your friend’s mom introduces herself as Mrs. Smith, then that’s what you call her.

58. Offer to help

Most people will tell a guest to sit and relax, but it’s good manners for kids that offer to help wash the dishes after a snack or meal.

59. Clean up before you leave

Before leaving, make sure you help clean up anything you played with or used. No one wants a big mess after guests go home.

60. Thank your hosts

Even if you just came by to work on homework with your friend, be sure to thank them and their parents for having you.

61. Reciprocate with an invitation

If you were invited to someone’s home, it’s only good manners to extend them an invitation to join you sometime at yours. Just make sure that time is agreeable for your parents as well.

Good Manners for Kids in General

62. Apologize when you’re wrong

And above all, mean it when you say you’re sorry.

63. Excuse yourself

Whether you’ve bumped into someone by accident or need to leave the room, remember to say, “Excuse me.”

64. Don’t put your feet up

On tables in your own home or on empty seats on public transport, keep your feet on the ground. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t put your feet up in the homes of others either.

65. Never litter

Take your trash and throw it away in the proper receptacle. If it’s recyclable, recycle it.

66. Offer your seat to someone in need

If you’re on a bus, train, or other mode of public transport, offer your seat to an elder, someone that’s physically impaired, or a pregnant woman.

67. Don’t be disruptive to others

Whether you’re on the phone in public or listening to music, keep your noise level in check.

68. Hold the door

If someone is coming in behind you, take a second to hold the door. Linger even longer to help elderly people with the door too.

69. Speak clearly

When it comes to good manners for kids, one of the best things you can do is speak without mumbling and loudly enough for adults to hear you without shouting.

70. Keep good hygiene

Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, shower daily, and brush your teeth twice each day.

80. Don’t intrude in personal spaces

Whether you’re standing too close to someone on a line or you’re trying to read over a shoulder, it’s considered rude to do.

81. No nail biting

Not only is it rude, but if you knew what was lurking underneath your nails, you’d never do it again.

82. Don’t eat in front of others unless you’re sharing

It’s very impolite to eat food in front of someone else without offering them something to eat too.

83. Avoid bragging

It’s one thing to be proud of your accomplishments. It’s quite another to brag about it incessantly.

84. Keep from staring

Taking a glance is fine but gaping and staring at others is considered the height of rudeness.

85. Honor your promises

Promises are commitments. Make sure you don’t make any that you can’t keep.

86. Don’t gab to everyone about your personal finances

Or the finances of your parents. It’s nobody’s business but your own.

87. No running indoors

Unless you’re at an indoor play area, you shouldn’t be running inside.

88. Avoid pointing

Pointing isn’t considered polite. This is especially true while dining.

89. Be patient on line

You’ll have to learn that sometimes you need to wait for the things you want, whether it’s for your turn on a ride or to pay for something at the store. You’ll get there in time.

90. Offer to pay for damages you’ve caused

If you did ruin something that doesn’t below to you, do the honorable thing and offer to pay for it.

91. Stay off private property

Certain spaces are privately owned. Make sure you don’t ride your bike through a neighbor’s garden or play chase in their yard.

92. Avoid yawning when in company

You might give the impression you are bored. And if you simple can’t stifle it, please cover your mouth as you do.

93. Don’t complain

When keeping good manners for kids, remember that someone out there has it far worse than you. That’s why complaining is a rude thing to do.

94. No fidgeting

Wherever you happen to be from school to home to church and everywhere in between, sit still without squiggling and squirming.

95. Be considerate of others

Offer a helping hand and see what you can do to be a beacon of light for others.

96. Treat others how you’d like to be treated

It’s a golden rule for a reason and among the good manners for kids everyone should follow. If you wouldn’t want someone to treat you as you’re treating them, then stop it.

97. Know how to express emotions appropriately

You’re entitled to your own feelings as they are yours. However, act accordingly when you have them. It’s OK to be angry, but it’s not OK to throw a fit.

98. Know when to be quiet and listen

People that keep talking nonstop are among the rudest of all.

99. Don’t tell lies

No one will believe you when you tell the truth.

100. Keep your fingers out of your nose

They might be roughly the same size, but they don’t belong in there. Excuse yourself to the restroom and use a tissue.

101. Even if you didn’t mean to, say sorry

Whether you accidentally hit your own sister, classmate, or a parent with a ball, even unintentional acts mandate an apology.

Good Manners for Kids: How to Teach Them

It might be a long list, but if you start teaching your children these good manners for kids, they’ll have a lifetime to practice them.
The best to teach them of course is to lead by example. Set the stage by exhibiting good manners yourself and let them copy your technique.

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