When asking for something, say "Please."
When receiving something, say "Thank you."
|And keep on smiling, Yusuf, though the hostess forgot to give you one!|
The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.
When people ask you how you are, answer them and then ask them how they are.
When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.
When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
Related: Thank you notes and more
Never use foul language. Nobody finds them funny.
Don't call people mean names. Do you like people to call you other names than yours?
Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
|And try to avoid obvious yawns! Cover your mouth, Yusuf!|
If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
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.
|Smile, though it's actually a smile of refusal to do something!|
When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
Related: 13 Basic Table Manners for kids.
|And yes, do recite your du'as before and after meal.|
Keep a napkin (or a Kleenex) on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
|This particular boy, we're still working on his eating habits...|
Don't reach for things at the table; ask politely to have them passed.
Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine.