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22 Basic Manners you Should Teach your Children  

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Hi friends! Have you ever come across a bad-mannered adult? One who engaged in some nasty behavior or habit until you asked yourself – who raised this one 😮 ?

Well, if you don’t raise your child with good manners and habits, rest assured that they’ll most likely become adults with uncouth behavior.

So today, I want to list down basic manners that were taught to us at a very young age by our moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, big sisters, minders and basically the village that raised us. These are habits that guided our behavior, especially in public places. Habits that we have carried on into our adulthood –and which have made us into the pleasant people that we are today.

I share them so that you can do a checklist to ensure that your children are well guided. But the most important thing for you to remember is that children learn more by observation, so if you yourself are uncultured, your children will be just like you.

  1. Always chew with your mouth closed
  2. Don’t chew loudly and don’t slurp (eat or drink something with a loud sucking noise – vrrrruuuuuuu)
  3. Don’t talk with food in your mouth
  4. Don’t lean into your plate while eating – bring food to your mouth instead
  5. No elbows on the dining table
  6. When something at the dining table is far, don’t stretch yourself to reach out for it -putting your clothing in other people’s plates or knocking down dishes in the process. Just politely ask that it be passed on to you
  7. Take your cup, plate and spoon to the kitchen when done. Empty any bones or waste into the dustbin before placing the dishes in the sink
  8. Don’t lick your plate after a meal – no matter how sumptuous the food was!
  9. Wait to be offered food, don’t immediately start helping yourself to it without the hosts’ permission
  10. Don’t pull in your mucus loudly or wipe it on your hand – always have a clean handkerchief with you
  11. Don’t clear your phlegm loudly or spit it onto the streets… pthuuu
  12. Don’t pick your nose and worse –eat the remnants of what you’ve picked
  13. Don’t spit in public!
  14. Always cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing
  15. Say ‘excuse me’ after sneezing and don’t wipe the remnants of that sneeze on the chair, desk, or on your clothes. Sneeze into a handkerchief
  16. Shake hands with a firm grip
  17. Don’t interrupt adults who are having a conversation
  18. Give up your seat for adults, elderly people, pregnant women, people with disability etc
  19. Wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating
  20. Use the magic words – please, thank you, excuse me, sorry
  21. Knock before entering a room and wait for a response
  22. Never make fun of other people’s looks

Also see how this mom, Angela, disciplines her children in the video below

So there you go. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Did I forget any? Add them in the comments section below and lets raise well-mannered children together.

Mummy Tales is a blog that contains lots of helpful articles that will help you navigate your motherhood journey. Feel free to search the blog for other experiences of Kenyan moms that may teach you a thing or two. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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