This recently came across my newsfeed:
10 Social Manners for Children
1. Say “please” when asking.
2. Say “thank you” when receiving.
3. Say “excuse me” when bumping into someone, or interrupting.
4. Put down your electronics when someone comes into the room.
5. Look people in the eye when speaking to them.
6. Let others finish speaking before you speak.
7. Shake hands firmly.
8. Say “yes, ma’am” and “yes, sir” when talking to grownups.
9. Greet people with “hi” or “hello” and “how are you?”
10. Open doors for others.
If just these ten concepts – which seem to be among the most basic and classic forms of politeness, with the modern addition of number 4 – were inculcated into children on a consistent basis, across the board, the world would be a much more pleasant place!
(It’s not on the list, but I would also add, if you’re seated and an older person or a pregnant woman has no place to sit, get up and offer them your seat; and I would append to number 6, if you must interrupt, say “excuse me, please,” and wait for them to acknowledge you. I did add “or interrupting” to number 3 – basically any time you bother or inconvenience someone – and “or hello,” which is a little more formal, to number 9.)
These rules instill basic courtesy and politeness, and they apply to adults no less than to children. But how can we expect adults to be courteous and polite, if they were not taught so when they were young? “Train up a child in the way in which he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” as the good Book says!