5 Etiquette Lessons for Your Kids

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Stick Refinement.

5 Etiquette Lessons for Your Kids

With today’s growing digital world kids and teens are lacking interpersonal skills, especially traditional and modern etiquettes. Here are five manners to teach your kids or teens:

1. Put the device down and make eye contact. Eye contact, handshakes and proper introductions are the first things I teach in my class. Having a firm handshake and making eye contact not only shows the other person respect, it shows self-confidence. I want students to walk away from my class with self-confidence to succeed in any social situation.

2. For the teens in my class, I discuss social media etiquette. They have heard about the bad that can result from posts, so I try to encourage the good. I teach that there is a way to position yourself in the best light online. I encourage posting with intention; positive intention that makes you look good if a college admissions representative or hiring director from a potential employer looks at your social media platforms. And I tell my students they will certainly be looked up!

3. Thank you notes are becoming a lost art, but they are still so very important in my opinion. Send thank you notes in a promptly manner. State the gift or service you are thankful for then state WHY. The ‘why’ is important. If you get a new sweater, say why you like it and the next time you plan to wear it for example. You can encourage your kids to write thank you notes by having them pick out their own stationary. This way, there is a buy in from them from the beginning. Make going to the stationary shop a special and fun outing!

4. Learning table manners is important because it’s a skill set they will use their whole life. Have your kids take turns setting the dinner table. Make it a fun activity instead of a chore. A positive spin on anything helps! Forks are on the left and knife and spoon on the right; knife blade faces in at all times.

Here are a few tips to remember during meals:

  • Pass the salt and pepper together, even if someone asks for only the salt
  • Your napkin goes in the seat of your chair if you leave the table to go to the bathroom
  • Your napkin is placed to the left of your plate when leaving the table at the end of your meal
  • Pass food to the right
  • It’s acceptable to have your forearms on the table at all times while eating European Style

5. People with good manners can carry a conversation and make the people around them feel comfortable, respected and welcome. When making a proper introduction, say the name of the older person first out of respect, or the person of higher authority. For example, if a teen is introducing a new friend to their parent the parent’s name should be said first. “Dad, I’d like to introduce to you my new friend, Matt. Matt, this is my Dad.” A good conversationalist takes it a step further by making a connection between the two people. This encourages the conversation to continue. “Dad, Matt plays soccer at his school. Matt, my Dad coaches my soccer team. We have a game coming up this weekend. When is your next game?” Make a connection then you could ask an opened ended question to help perpetuate conversation.

Would you like your child to learn more about etiquette? Sign up for classes in the new year HERE.


April Palombo Setliff was trained and certified in New York City by the American Academy of Etiquette. She is from Baton Rouge and is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and LSU. April received a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She works in the accounting department for Omni Specialty Packaging where she establishes credit for their international customers with the Export-Import Bank of America. She is married to Martin Setliff and has two boys, Martin (5) and Eli (2).

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