Our Family Common Courtesies

— Dana

There are so many decisions to make in a given day. On top of that, there’s also a plethora of “unwritten” rules that adults operate by just practicing it for so many years. I’ve found that children usually learn a new rule when they have broken one. How frustrating would that be if everything you did was reprimanded all the time? So, in an effort to help my daughter know and understand a few “common” rules, I’ve tried to gather them the last few years, so I know what I’m aiming for. Here is my list of “Common Courtesies”. (Please let me know if I should add any…I’m sure I missed a few.)

Our Family Common Courtesies

Consideration for Others
• Don’t forget to say “Please”, “Thank You”, “You’re Welcome”, “I’m Sorry”, “I Forgive You”, and “Excuse Me.”
• Don’t interrupt when someone is talking.
• Be on time.
• Use quiet voices when someone is on the phone.
• Personal hygiene should be done in private (picking nose, itch private places, etc)
• Ask before you touch something.
• Respect other people’s property.
• No name calling.
• Always greet someone when they come to your house.
• Take compliments courteously.
• Knock on closed doors and wait for a response before entering.
• Hand write a thank you note for any gifts received.
• Never use foul language.
• Cover your mouth with your arm when you cough or sneeze.
• Don’t grab toys from other people’s hand.
• Share and take turns.
• Use good eye contact.
• Use a clear and loud enough voice so other people can hear you when you talk.
• When you are visiting with a friend, it is polite to put away all distractions to be fully present (i.e. cell phones, iPods, etc).
• Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them.
• When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
• When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
• Do not make fun of anyone for any reason.
• Even if something is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
• As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
• If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.
• When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
• Always tell the whole truth.
• Don’t talk bad about someone behind their back (gossip). If you have a problem with someone, deal with the person directly.
• Always choose happiness.
• No one likes to hear a whiny voice. Lower the tone of your voice so people can hear what you are trying to say.
• Keep your promises.
• Think of others before yourself.

Table Manners
• Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
• You need to take at least one “Thank You Bite” for new food.
• No toys at the table.
• Chairs are for sitting, not for standing.
• When you’re done eating, ask if you can get down.
• Put your plate and cup in the sink when you are done eating.
• Eat with a utensil unless the food is meant to be eaten with fingers.
• Don’t make rude comments about the food being served. Show appreciation.
• Wait until everyone is served before eating.
• Politely ask someone to pass something to you instead of reaching for it.
• Please remove all hats at the table.

House Rules
• Take off your shoes when you come in the house.
• Hang up your jacket on the coat rack.
• When you take off your clothes, put them in the laundry hamper.
• Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
• No jumping on the couch or the chairs.
• Clean-up after yourself.
• Choose to wake-up happy before you get out of bed.
• No one likes to hear a whiny voice. Lower the tone of your voice so people can hear what you are trying to say.
• Don’t “save” things for a special occasion when you can use them now. (Mix the play-doh colors, make messes and have fun in the process…)
• Remember YOUR BEST is good enough.
• Don’t talk/yell at someone when you are in another room.

Shopping Rules
• We don’t buy something unless it is on the list before we go into the store.
• Children must sit in the cart. No standing.
• We have to pay for something before we open it.

Reminder to Parents
• Correct in Private.
• Be Consistent.
• Require Good Manners Everyday.
• Remind Gently.
• Don’t Nag.
• Set Reasonable Limits.
• Lighten Up and Have Fun.
• Be Present.
• Get down to eye level and touch their shoulder when correcting a behavior.
• Reward positive behavior by saying, “Thank you. You have good manners.”
• Limits should be clearly explained and enforced.
• Resist being overprotective and not consistently setting clear limits.


2 thoughts on “Our Family Common Courtesies

  1. I love this, it has all the proper etiquette. Do you mind if I print it out and post it in my home?

  2. The Winter Family Rules

    LOVE like JESUS
    Respect your elders
    Wake up smiling
    Try new things
    Make healthy choices
    Make a joyful noise
    Never stay angry
    Count your blessings
    Believe in miracles
    Books before bed
    Live your dream
    Give Bear Kisses and Bunny Sniffles
    Encourage others
    Learn from your mistakes
    Be proud of your own style
    Say what you are sorry for
    no fussing, whining or meltdowns
    Dance in the kitchen
    Keep your promises
    Clean up your messes
    Slow Dance in the kitchen
    Choose happiness
    Listen but don’t judge
    Use your imagination
    Remember your best is good enough
    Think of others before yourself
    Be silly and giggle loudly
    People matter more than things
    Tell the whole truth
    Always do Random Acts of Kindness

    Say I love you and know that you are loved
    Be Appreciative
    Be Forgiving
    Be Honest
    Be Courageous

    Yep – I’m using my Birthday money to get a canvas made for our new kitchen.
    These are some of our rules… I’m a rule junkie so I’m TRYING to limit them!

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