The So-Far Series: Etiquette for Little Ones at Home

LauraAll Posts, Motherhood

Inspired by a list of parenting lessons and resources that I found in my journal, I’ve decided to use this week as a “So-Far Series” and share our thoughts with YOU!

By the way, be sure to dust off your own opinions for Friday’s “So-Far” Shebang when you can Mr. Linky or comment your best advice… so far.

With 4 short years of experience, a pile of fantastic resources, and limitless wisdom from our parents and friends, here is one thing we know So-Far…


I’ll be honest with you: I want people to love my children. Even more than that, though, I want my children to love other people. So, I don’t think it’s wrong to pray that my children to grow in favor with God and people. After all, Daniel and Jesus grew in such a way. I do realize, that my prayer request requires involvement on my part: I must guide my children in a favorable way!

It seems to me that my children’s behavior will directly affect the quality of their relationships. And its our responsibility to teach our children how to respect and love other people. I believe that if my husband and I build a home in which we love each other well and practice hospitality, our children will be much more likely to grow up like Daniel and Jesus: in favor with God and man.

Scripture is packed with advice concerning our relationships with other people. We plan on walking our children through the book of Proverbs continually, applying the wisdom as we grow together. We plan on digging into the letters from the apostles who seem obsessed with the right way to treat one another.

We plan on applying these biblical principles to the fleeting moments in our daily lives: when we wake up and when we go to sleep; when we work and when we play.

So this is when we dust off an old yet lovely word: etiquette.

More than the proper placement of silverware at the dining table, etiquette informs us of tried-and-true demonstrations of respect for other people. I’ve learned a great deal from Nancy Campbell’s 7 etiquette posters; they’ve helped me to evaluate the way in which we welcome each other, friends, and strangers into our lives and home. (For example, from the Table Etiquette poster: “Do not have private conversations at the table. It is a place for shared communication” and from the Speech Etiquette poster: “Do not speak with your hands in your pockets.”)

I’ve designed a one-page “Etiquette for Little Ones at Home” poster that helps to keep us focused on the handful of behaviors that are important to us right now: these are important in shaping our lives to love, respect, and welcome one another. Of course, not all of these are straight out of Scripture, but each one holds the values of Scripture in its core.

* Say “Good-morning” and “Good-night” to everyone in the house.

* Greet our guests at the door with a smile and “hello!”

* Say “Good-bye” to our guests and help them out the door.

* Remember your manners: “please” and “thank-you”.

* Stay seated at the table until you are excused.

* If an adult drops something, pick it up quickly!

* Protect children – especially babies – who are younger than you.

* When you are eating a snack, offer some to the people near you.

* When people speak to you, look in their eyes and respond kindly.

*When daddy or mommy asks you to do something, say, “Yes,
dad!” or “Yes, mom!” and do it right away.

Click here if you would you like a refrigerator-ready PDF of your own: etiquetteforlittleones

Teachable Tuesday is designed to share teaching ideas that specifically connect a child’s heart with God’s. What are you teaching this week?