Practicing door manners as a family helps your child learn.

Phone & Door Manners for Kids

by Eliza Martinez

Children aren't born with perfect manners. They must be taught how to politely treat those around them. It might seem like your child is never going to pick up the basics of proper manners, but modeling those behaviors yourself is a powerful way to instill them in your child. Proper phone and door manners are an important way for kids to make a good first impression.

1. Family Phone Manners

When you have a family phone, chances are there's a race to answer it when it rings. If your child is old enough to take on the responsibility of picking up the phone, she should always say "hello," as soon as she answers. When the caller asks to speak to a certain member of the family, your child shouldn't shout out to that person, but should ask the caller to wait a moment while she goes to inform that person that he or she has a call. If your child is home alone, she should never say that her parents aren't home, but can tell the caller that they are unavailable and ask to take a message. Keep a pen and paper by the phone so your child can write the name and number of the caller.

2. Cell Phone Manners

Many kids carry their own cell phones, which presents a whole set of its own manners. Ask your child to refrain from talking on his cell phone during family meals and other quality times. Cindy Post Senning, great-granddaughter of manners expert Emily Post, suggests asking kids not to come in the front door while on a cell phone. This way your child is able to greet other family members without distractions. Model these behaviors for your child by putting your cell phone away when you walk in the door and hang it up when you're spending time with your child.

3. Answering the Door Manners

Most kids get excited when someone comes to the door. In all the excitement, your child might forget her manners as she flings the door open, shrieking with glee. Show your child how to answer the door by opening it gently and greeting your guest by saying "hello" and "welcome to our home." If the guest is a stranger, your child can tell him or her to wait one moment while she gets her parents. Once you appear, your child can introduce herself to your guest and listen to what he or she has to say. If the guest is known and expected, your child should open the door and invite the guest in by saying, "come in," or "join us." Holding the door while your guest enters is another way for your child to show good manners.

4. Knocking on the Door Manners

When you go to someone's house, proper manners make a good first impression when you knock on the door. Your child should only knock or ring the doorbell once, then wait for the door to be opened. Your child should greet the person at the door before entering the house and wait to be invited in. If your child is going door to door for a fundraiser, he should introduce himself and talk about what he's selling. Don't forget to have your child say, "please" and "thank you."

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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