Good Manners: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Using good manners is a skill that is extremely important to getting along with other people in society! In this lesson, identify ways to use good manners when you're out in public or around other people.

Why Are Good Manners Important?

Imagine two different types of people. Person A is rude, mean, does not share and basically doesn't care about other people. Person B is kind, considerate and nice when talking to others. Which person would you rather be around? Person B, of course! Person B uses good manners, which means they behave in ways that are respectful and polite, or thoughtful toward others.

Let's explore how good manners look in different situations.

Speaking to Others

No matter who you're talking to, there are ways to use good manners when speaking and listening. Making eye contact during conversation is considered good manners. This means your eyes are focused on the speaker to show that you're listening. So, that means you should put down the cell phone or tablet and stop playing your favorite game when someone is talking to you!

No one at this table is paying attention to anything other than their cell phones. That is bad manners!
phone distraction

Saying 'please' and 'thank you' are very common ways to show good manners. In some cultures, especially in the South, it's considered polite to say, 'ma'am' when addressing a woman and 'sir' when addressing a woman. Use the phrase 'excuse me' if you have to move past someone or get their attention. Using magic words like these is a way to show respect to others.

Out in Public

When getting on the bus or train, you generally want to get a seat. But what if there is a person who is older, pregnant or has trouble standing? Sometimes, using good manners means letting others who need it take your seat.

If you walk through a door in public, look behind you. Someone may be walking behind you, and it's good manners to hold the door for them instead of letting it close in their face. Look for ways you can help others in your neighborhood. For example, you could carry groceries for someone who is having trouble with their bags, or perhaps you can help an elderly person cross the street.

Eating At The Table

Whether in public or at the table in your own kitchen, there are some rules for being respectful of others while eating. In the United States, it's polite to wait until everyone is served before eating. This can be hard, especially if you're starving! But it's a way of being considerate of others at the table who are just as hungry as you.

Using good manners at the table means waiting for others to be served before eating.
restaurant table

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