Forgotten Etiquette Every Child Should Learn

If the kids forget the biggies, nobody will believe you raised them right.

"Yes, ma'am" and "no, ma'am" are givens. So are "please" and "thank you." But Mama'n'em have traditionally expected more in the way of etiquette and manners for children—much more. In this modern age of insta-this and insta-that, we fear some of the South's time-honored good manners for kids might've fallen by the wayside. So we polled our Facebook Brain Trust and asked this: When it comes to teaching kids manners, what forgotten rules should Junior and Sissy still be learning?

Here's what they said about etiquette for kids.

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If the kids forget the biggies, no one will believe you raised them right. Harold M. Lambert/Getty Images

Etiquette Rules Every Child Should Know

Rules for Company

"When you're a guest in someone's home, look but don't touch." (No hostess wants to see a six-year-old handle Great Aunt Aurelia's crystal punch cups.)

"Invite your grandparents for a 'talking walk.' They need the attention and the time with you, and you just might learn a thing or two."

"When company comes, the TV is turned OFF." (Unless, of course, it's college football season. Even Mama's wearing her school colors on game day.)

"Never interrupt an adult who is talking. Especially Mama. Or Memaw. Or the preacher when he comes to visit."

Who Goes First?

"Boys always open doors for girls. Children always open doors for their elders and hold the door open for each other." (Doors matter.)

"Ladies first." (An insider tells us that people in Savannah even apply this rule at 4-way stops.)

"Guests go first."

How to Behave in Church

"Walk to the BACK of the church to go to the restroom; NEVER walk between the preacher/music leader and the congregation!" (FYI, y'all, there's a preacher in our Brain Trust.)

"Do NOT run in church. EVER."

"Flip flops don't belong at church. I don't care what your friends wear."

"Do not talk, whisper, giggle, shuffle paper, drop anything, kick the pew with your foot, or even breath loud during prayer."

Mealtime Expectations

"Eat what's set before you and thank whoever prepared it."

"If you're planning to eat at Mama's Table, you'd best take off that ball cap."

"Don't talk with your mouth full." And in a related story . . .

"Chew with your mouth closed, young man!"

"Let's remember to say grace." (Translation: "Don't even think about touching that pot roast until we've asked the blessing.")

"No elbows on the table."

"Pull Memaw's chair out for her at the dinner table."

Show Respect

"Now tell Sissy you're sorry for giving her doll a haircut. Sissy, say you forgive him."

"Put that back where you got it. Mama's not running a housekeeping service."

"If you want to keep that toy, I'd suggest you pick it up and put it away."

"How about putting away those cellphones and iPads and joining the conversation?"

"Make Mama proud."

Be Polite

"A text is not a thank-you note."

"If an elder needs a seat, you had BETTER get up out of that chair and offer it."

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