Children and Manners: Teaching them how to ‘Meet people’

Have you noticed how some children interact well – or maybe not so well – with the adults in their lives?

When my sons lived at home and invited friends over to our home (which basically happened from the time they were toddlers until they graduated from college), certain friends were a blast to have over.

They were friendly. They’d walk in the door, smile, and greet me with, “Oh, Hi, Mrs. Elwell – good to see you!”

They were grateful. They’d bring up an empty plate from the basement  – one that up until that point had been full of Oreo brownies –  and say, “Those were yummy, Mrs. Elwell – thanks for baking for us!”  {When the friends were that grateful, I usually piled up another plateful of brownies and took them back down.  Funny how that works.}

They were polite. Every now and then, one of the boys’ friends would even ask me something about myself, like, “Got any new projects going lately, Mrs. Elwell?”  Admittedly, that kind of question didn’t happen very often.  But it was refreshing when it did.

When I compiled ideas for The Christian Mom’s Idea Book, I was thrilled to receive the following idea –  which I included in the chapter on manners.  Maybe some of you will find it helpful  . . .

“I teach my children to do three things when being introduced to someone:

(1) Smile

(2) Say “Hello.”

(3) Ask the other person a question.

This takes the attention off of the kids if they feel awkward, and a question gets the other person talking – which most people enjoy doing.  This is also good advice for adults!”

So, isn’t that a practical idea?  Any thoughts about kids and manners you’d like to add?

Learning and growing together,


(Taken from The Christian Mom’s Idea Book by Ellen Banks Elwell, copyright 1997, 2008.  Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187,


1 Comment

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One response to “Children and Manners: Teaching them how to ‘Meet people’

  1. Hi Ellen
    thanks for the advice! When they go to another house, always i remind them to say thank you and please 🙂

    Is that your last book?

    Have you received my email?

    God bless you

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