SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Where Have Children's Good Manners Gone?

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Often I find myself asking, “What’s happened to basic good manners these days?” 

Last week I was having a conversation with another teacher in our school corridor. As we were chatting, two students plowed right between us, bumping us with their backpacks! 

I immediately made that a “teachable” moment and patiently explained to the students that when adults are talking, you either walk around them, or stop and say, “Excuse me.” I knew that those children were not intentionally being impolite; they just didn’t realize that they should have stopped.

Good manners should start at a young age. They don’t cost anything, yet integrating them into your child’s life can be quite valuable. Having good manners makes a child standout in a very positive way.

Here are eight basic rules of good manners that every child should easily master before starting kindergarten.

  • Always say “Please” when asking for something, and “Thank you” when receiving it.
  • When someone says “Thank you” to you the correct response is “You’re welcome.”
  • Look at a person when they are speaking to you.
  • Don’t interrupt, unless it is an emergency.
  • If you bump into someone say “Excuse me.”
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm. 
  • Don’t ever laugh at, or make fun of, other people.
  • Clean up any messes you make.

Instilling good manners in children can dramatically affect the quality of their life…and get them noticed for all the right reasons!


#1 Greedharee Tharmanansingh 2011-11-24 16:50

You are perfectly right. This i a big problem today at schools. Not only children even teacher colleagues have forgotten some simple good manners. How do you feel when you say good morning and there is no answer from the other side!

By the way can use some of your articles to quote in my blog?


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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?