Good manners are great gifts we give our children and one another. “Hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye” are words that may garner a good response or even crimp a smile on the face. Besides encouraging good manners, I generated a “Do Right List” of a few things that are just plain right to do.

We taught our children many on this list:

  • Answer the telephone with “Hello, this is ____. May I help you?”
  • When using the restroom, close the toilet seat, flush the toilet, wash your hands, and wipe the sink off after use.
  • Send a thank you note when you’ve received a gift or been someone’s guest.
  • Address adults by their last names unless otherwise given permission by the adult.
  • Arrive on time to functions.
  • Remember to RSVP an invitation on or before the requested due date.
  • Present a host or hostess gift when attending a function in someone’s home.
  • When dining in someone else’s home, wait for the host or hostess to begin his or her meal before eating.
  • Chew food with your mouth closed, and avoid speaking with food in your mouth.
  • As you first enter a room or gathering, greet everyone with a “hello.”
  • Young men: When meeting someone, firmly shake the person’s hand. Don’t forget to make eye contact.
  • Young ladies: Smooth your dress or skirt when sitting, and carefully cross your legs at the ankles.
  • Keep posture straight while sitting and walking.
  • Wait patiently rather than interrupting a conversation. If you must speak, “excuse me” is the proper way to interject.
  • As an overnight guest in a home, be sure to make up your bed and pick up your things.

I know this all may sound old-fashioned, but there are some common sense things that are just right. A “Do Right List” makes sense in the adult world, yet it begins by teaching our children early!

What would YOU add to this list?