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Raising civilized children in an uncivilized world
How to Write a Holiday Letter … to Santa (or Grandma)
The holidays are a wonderful time to introduce or reinforce letter-writing skills. What better way to motivate your child than by having him or her write a special holiday letter to someone he or she admires.
Holiday Q & A
With the holidays just around the corner, the same old questions always seem to pop up just before a big family gathering. Here are some of the most commonly asked holiday questions.
Kids & Email Behavior
Children and teens must be taught to use and respect the Internet, just as adults may need a gentle reminder of Net Etiquette.
Shhhh! This is the Library
Here are some guidelines that will make everyone’s library experience more enjoyable. It starts with respect in three areas.
A Carpool Refresher Course
In this refreshing refresher, Diane reminds us to make sure our own carpool manners live up to the standards we set for our kids.
14 Tips for Swimming Pool Parties
These pool etiquette tips floated to the sirface after an impomptu backyard pool party got just a little bit larger than originally planned.
Tennis Etiquette for Parents off the Court
As a parent, it's your job to instill a healthy attitude toward tennis as a sport and encourage your child to enjoy the game.
Everyday Etiquette: Bicycle Riding 101
Whoever said that “Once you learn how to ride a bike, you will never forget” obviously didn’t know my family. Here's a review of the do's and don'ts on bike safety and etiquette.
10 Things to Teach Kids About Pets
Children tend to watch how their parents, family members and other adults treat animals and follow their lead. And even if you do not own a pet, it is important to talk to your child about respecting animals.
Manners for Girls
Growing up in today’s world can be challenging because the guidelines for girls are somewhat murky. Times have changed. It is imperative to give her the social tools she will need to help her along the way.
Manners for Boys
The historical role of a man is to protect the woman and, though that might now seem like a quaint anachronism, there is nothing wrong with teaching our boys to be respectful and protective of each other – and that does include girls!
Holiday Table Manners
A few weeks before the holidays is too late to start intensive etiquette training but these basic tips will hold you over until after the first of the year.
10 Tips for Grandma's Thanksgiving Table
For most adults, Thanksgiving is a special holiday spent with family and friends. Often, adult "kids" go to their parents' home, carting along their own children for an old-fashioned, home-cooked meal. Here's how to have a T-day dinner without a manners meltdown...
Cell Phone Tips for Children (and Parents, Too!)
A cell phone can be a valuable and useful tool if used properly and with regard to others around you. As a parent, it is your responsibility to model the cell phone behavior you expect from your children.
Early Lessons Have Lasting Impact
Every parent has, at some point, had the uncomfortable experience of looking on helplessly as his or her pride and joy blurts out an impromptu comment such as, "Grandma Betty, my mommy says you get on her last nerve," or "Mrs. Smith, why is your nose so big?" or my own personal experience of "Mommy, if his name is Mike [age 31 and still living at home with no job prospects], why do you always call him Weasel?" ("A little weasel" to be specific, but Mike's mother was not amused!).
The Good Houseguest
Everyone knows a family, “that family,” that everyone else tries to avoid inviting for an overnight stay. You love them, you may even be related to them, but hosting them at your home is a completely different story. To ensure you are not “that family” this year...
Respecting Our Anthem and Flag
I was at a sports game recently and noticed a mother and her two daughters, during the national anthem, giggling, talking among themselves and, most disturbing, one of the teens answered a ringing cell phone and carried on a conversation, all before the song was complete. It occurred to me that a refresher in showing respect would be appropriate as we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.
Planning Your Family Vacation
Traveling with cranky toddlers, grumpy teens and impatient dads is challenging, at best. Throw a family pet into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless, of course, there is a little planning by a vacation-savvy mom beforehand.
Minding Your Pregnancy Manners
For most moms, the sight of a fellow "mom in waiting" evokes immediate feelings of our own pregnancies - the joys, the tears, the insensitive etiquette faux pas that well-intentioned people make during a woman's most hormonal, emotional and sensitive time. Even the most heartfelt comment can sometimes skip the track and land a person in the Protocol Hall of Shame.
Good Sportsmanship for Children... and Parents
We've all read about it in the paper - the overzealous father who punched out the soccer coach for not giving his daughter enough field time or the mother who made a scene at the basketball game when a teammate didn't pass the ball to her son.
Do's and Don'ts for Babysitters (and Those Who Hire Them)
Good babysitters take their job seriously and, whenever possible, they have attended a babysitting course (offered at many hospitals) and become certified in CPR.
Etiquette: Early Lessons Have Lasting Impact
Kids learn more through imitation than through instruction, so practice what you preach. Use "Please" and "Thank you" when interacting with your child...
The Art of the Thank-You Note
I am often asked about the "rules" when it comes to writing a thank-you note. Is a young child exempt from a note? Do they have to actually write it themselves? What if they are too young? Is a thank-you note always necessary? Will an email thank-you note suffice?
Holiday Etiquette Tips
Nothing is better than the aroma of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven while the fireplace crackles with orange and red flames. During the holiday season, family traditions are welcomed and encouraged. Children love to sing, so what better way to spend time together than walking door to door, making a joyful noise caroling?!
Host a Holiday Card Party for Kids
Just like adults, children like sending their friends holiday greetings, too. A holiday card party makes it all the more fun and festive. It's a great way to show our children the importance of staying connected to "far away" friends, close friends and family they may or may not see often. A nice alternative would be to make cards to take to a nursing home
Dealing with Disabilities
The most common mistake children (and adults) make when interacting with someone who has a disability is treating that person differently than they would anyone else.
Avoiding Frightful Behavior
Before your little angel, cheerleader or SpongeBob SquarePants hits the streets to trick-or-treat this year, here are some rules to review.
Everyday Etiquette for Parents and Teachers
When you drop off your child at his classroom, give him a hug and a kiss, tell him you will see him after school and leave!
7 Tips to Handling Tantrums in Public
We've all experienced it - the dreaded tantrum in a public place. Little Susie Q is screaming at the top of her lungs while an assortment of disapproving eyes are all focused on you.
How to Behave at a Sleepover
When you are a guest at a sleepover it is important to remember that you are still a guest and should act accordingly.
Promoting Good Table Manners
The truth is, as adults, we all know how to eat, but few of us do it completely correctly. There are certain basic rules that always apply, and the following tips are, well, the tip of the iceberg, bare bones basics that you should know and your child should learn.
Valentine's Day Tea Time
Feb. 14 is Valentine's Day, so dust off the china, polish up the silver and put your pinkies down - let's have a Tea Party! It's a fun way to learn good manners. Children love to have parties and what better reason than to share a cup of tea with someone you love. Tea parties are not just for children!
Compliments for Kids
Offering someone a genuine compliment can be both a reward and a validation. It is a very nice way to make someone feel special. Many of us, however, are not sure what to say or how to act when we receive a compliment. Parents can help their children learn the important skill of giving and graciously receiving compliments.
Children and the Theater
Picture this: You’re running late to a performance and have finally found the row in which you will be seated. Sudden panic strikes you when you realize you and your family have seats in the middle of the row and the row is completely filled on both sides. What should you do? Read More
Who's teaching manners to your child?
By the time a parent starts thinking about a “manners” class for his or her child, it is usually after a terrible incident and the parent wants to “punish” the child for the offensive behavior. Of course, manners classes should not be viewed as a punishment, and etiquette training should not be looked upon as an afterthought when all else fails. If you aren't teaching your child good manners, who is? Read More
Waiting to See the Doctor
There’s little that’s more frustrating than sitting for hours in the waiting room of a pediatrician’s office with a little tiger (or two) sniffing, snorting and suffering with fever. All the while, rubbing elbows with other children in various stages of germ warfare. A room full of sick children calls for a special type of protocol. Regarding the rights of others will put everyone at ease. The golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” definitely applies here, especially when we are dealing with those not feeling their best. Read More
Using the Telephone
The idea of teaching a child how to answer the telephone seems relatively easy, right? Think again. There are so many things to consider today that we would have never have considered in years past. Here are a few simple guidelines for parents to consider when teaching their children telephone etiquette. Read More
Diane Gottsman is a nationally recognized etiquette and protocol expert who leads age-appropriate etiquette programs for children as well as adults striving to fine-tune their skills. She has a master’s degree in sociology/education. For more information, check out www.protocolschooloftexas.com.