What Are Good Manners?

What Are Good Manners?

“Mind your manners,” Mom always said.

My brother let loose one last burp. “Aww, Mom, we’re just having a competition.”

My brother didn’t win a manner’s contest that day, and so I wasn’t sure what to expect when four little boys wanted to visit our farm on a nippy October afternoon.

“Brace yourself!” I said to my hubby. “Here they come.”

Nine-year-old Boston rolled out of his parents’ van, barreled up our slate walkway, and headed straight for me. Before I had time to blink, Boston wrapped his little arms around my waist. “Thank you! Thank you!—” He squeezed tighter. “Thank you for having us over, Miss. Tracy.”

My heart swelled three times larger than the Grinch’s.

You see, Boston, along with his three younger brothers, had waited from early spring until late fall to come to our farm to ride the big ATV’s.

With three excited boys, and an equally excited dad in tow, my hubby gave them a tour. The first stop—the hayloft.

Isaiah, Boston, and Judah

And then, finally, the ATV’s roared out of the barn.

Boston driving his dad around the farm

Isaiah takes the wheel

Judah, Boston, and Riker are in for a rough ride

My hubby hitched up the John Deere trailer. The trailer didn’t have shock absorbers, but the boys didn’t seem to mind that their heads wobbled back and forth like bobble-head dogs in a car window.

Tuckered out, Isaiah and Judah resting with Indy and Patches

A few days later, a thick envelope arrived in our mailbox. I tore it open, read three thank-you letters, and admired a mindful masterpiece.

Boston’s letter

Isaiah’s letter

Judah’s mindful masterpiece (with a little help from mom)

These precious offerings are also displayed on my Mindful Masterpiece’s page.

My hubby and I certainly didn’t expect thank-you letters. We were the blessed ones, entertaining polite and grateful boys who obviously learned good manners from their mom and dad.

So what are good manners?

Good manners are politeness, respecting others, and respecting yourself.

Kids, what do good manners look like at home?

  • Help your mom out with chores.
  • Keep your room tidy.
  • Don’t snatch your sister’s or brother’s toys.

Kids, what do good manners look like at the dinner table?

  • Offer to set and clear the table.
  • Chew with your mouth closed.
  • Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
  • If you need to blow your nose, excuse yourself from the table.

Kids, what do good manners look like when you’re out with mom and dad?

  • No whining allowed.
  • Don’t throw a temper tantrum.
  • Say “please” and “thank you” every time.
  • Stay close to your mom and dad instead of running through the mall.

Kids, what do good manners look like at school?

  • Instead of shoving, pushing, or butting in front of others, say “excuse me.”
  • Say “good morning” or “good afternoon” if you walk past a teacher.
  • Raise your hand before you speak.
  • Return borrowed books to the school library.

For a delightful poem on manners, click through to read “How Nice I Am”.

Have another wonderful week! And don’t forget to practice good manners.

Happy Birthday, Marjorie!

Related Links:

How to Encourage Little Hands & Minds

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59 Responses

  1. Tracy, I LOVE this post! Burping Wars are essentials for childhood (especially in my brother’s and cousins’ opinions), and the pictures are delightful. You have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving…and if you recruit these little guys to design, write and color some kids’ cards to add to your line, you’ll have best sellers! Wonderful!

    • Hi Marylin,
      I’m so glad you LOVED this post. You always come up with great phrases like “Burping Wars”. Love it.
      We celebrated Thanksgiving last month, so I am thankful for each day. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see if I can get the little guys to sign a contract to design for me. LOL 🙂

  2. What a sweet story! It sounds like you had fun equal to those boys. I love your lists for what are good manners in each setting. I would love to copy them to show them to our kids 🙂

    • Hi Laura,
      I’m so glad you signed up again on my blog. I’ve missed your encouraging comments.
      We had a blast with the “boys”. Please feel free to copy the list. I think you should pin the list to the fridge or wherever you leave family notes! 🙂

  3. Tracy,
    This was a terrific post. You really showed a great way to teach manners. A story, pictures, thank you notes, and tips for different situations. WELL done! I loved the smiling faces. Not what some people associate with manners. 😉

  4. Tracy, excellent post and especially with all the holidays coming up. Manners start early on with children. It takes parents consistently reinforcing them gently and carefully.

    The boys looked like they had a wonderful time and I loved their thank you letters!!

    • Hi Judy,
      It’s so important to instill good manners. Not only does it teach them how to be polite, but they learn to respect others. The following week at church, Boston came up to me and asked, “When can we come again, Miss. Tracy.” So I’m sure next year will be a repeat event. 🙂

  5. Oh, and thanks for the birthday wishes. Now that the power is back on I can get back to vacuuming. Wait a second….house, clean on my BD???.. I’ll do it Monday.

    • You’re very welcome! What are thinking–vacuuming on your birthday day?
      I’m glad we have a generator! 🙂
      Marjorie, enjoy your special day! 🙂

  6. This one goes straight to my heart! I’m currently working on a “good manners workshop” for girls! Maybe boys in the future, but I have to start “small”… I’m currently working with 44 kids during lunch. Several Churches and a Christian School started a pilot program: bilingual education from kindergarten to senior High School for kids whose families live in absolute poverty. These kids are being provided with not only school education, but breakfast and lunch (table manners) and Dental and Ophthalmological care as well.

    • How wonderful, Ines! Teaching children good manners will open many doors. As you know, anyone living in poverty tugs at my heart strings. I am thrilled you that you shared your heart’s mission. You go, Ines! I hope you’ll keep me in the loop. 🙂

  7. You whisked me away to many family field trips to houses of relatives or friends etc. My family was pretty laid back at home but ‘crossing the line’ when we were out was a thing we dared not do. Mom and Dad recognized us a kids and let us blow off energy in silly ridiculous ways. I live that way even now. So, yes please, I’d like to act goofy, but not to offend anyone but rather to unlock the child hidden deep in my heart….thank you. I think she and Matilda would get along splendidly 🙂

    • Hi Terrol,
      I’m so pleased this post whisked you back in time. Please act goofy anytime. Remember you are visiting a wacky blog and a wacky blog butterfly. Awesome comments! 🙂

  8. What delightful pictures and thank you notes – looks like everyone had a great time! And these boys at least seem very mannerly 🙂 My favorite part was “We had a lot and a lot of fun!” – that’s a whole lot of fun 🙂

    • Hi Susanna,
      We all had a blast. And I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to receive the boys thank you letters and artwork. 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday, Marjorie!
    “Happy Birthday to you! 🙂
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜
    ¸¸.•*¨*•░H░A░P░P░Y░(¯`’•.¸ *♥♥♥* ¸.•’´¯) ░B░I░R░ T░H░D░A░Y░ (¯`’•.¸*♥♥♥*¸.•’´¯) Hope you enjoy YOUR special day!
    ║╚╦═╦═╦═╦╦╗ ║╚╦═╦═╦═╦╦╗ ║╚╦╦═╣╚╣╚╦╝╠═╦╦╗
    ║║║╬║╬║╬║║║ ║║║╬║╬║╬║║║ ║╬║║╔╣╔╣║║╬║╬║║║
    ╚╩╩╩╣╔╣╔╩╗║ ╚╩╩╩╣╔╣╔╩╗║ ╚═╩╩╝╚═╩╩╩═╩╩╩╗║
    ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Birthday .♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥Happy Birthday to youuuuu ♪♫•*¨*•.¸.•*¨*•♫
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”

  10. Manners are sorely lacking these days… however, a good burping contest in the quiet of one’s own home never hurt anyone, and creates brotherly bonds that will last a lifetime. 🙂

  11. ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you! .♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”
    Okay, I get the emoticons on Wikipedia and then create these. 🙂

    • Hi Eliz,
      You’re too funny! You finally broke down and shared your secret. Now the hard part will be trying to figure out how to recreate a similar creation. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Tracy…A heart warming story…Love the photo’s…Those boys will remember that day for years to come…Love your stories Tracy…very inspiring…never any pressure to come over here…sometimes I just take a break from looking and then come back with a fresh outlook…On to the next story!!!
    karenlee recently posted..‘Rendezvous’ in the Forest…My Profile

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