Book review: 365 Manners Kids Should Know

A new book guides parents through the murky waters of children’s manners in a myriad of situations, from the basic please and thank you to 21st-century technology trip-ups.

 By Heather Camlot

Teaching kids manners is hard work. I should know, I have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old who don’t always seem to remember the very basics of polite behaviour – saying please and thank you. And without those fundamentals settled, we’re already dealing with the next phase, how to answer the phone, leave a kind message, write thank-you notes (ugh, like pulling teeth!) and wait to be invited to a friend’s house. I can honestly say I don’t look forward to the upcoming years of Facebook, Twitter, texting and cyberbullying.

Book cover of 365 Manners Kids Should Know by Sheryl EberlyFortunately, parents like me have help. Author Sheryl Eberly’s book, 365 Manners Kids Should Know, lays it all out in a simple-to-follow plan – tackle one manner each day of the year with practical advice, tips, games and activities.

Mining Digital Manners

The book is divided into a myriad of sections, from body basics and family time, to special occasions and table manners. But what’s been added to this revised edition for the new millennium is a slew of sections dedicated to technology, which Eberly penned with the help of her daughter, Caroline, a magazine editor in her twenties.

Some of their tech tips:

  • Ask permission before taking a picture of someone with a cellphone
  • When with company, don’t check text messages
  • Similarly, remove MP3 earbuds when talking to someone
  • Have social media relationships only with known people
  • Keep online posts impersonal
  • Talk to your child about cyberbullying.

The Eberlys delve further into these and other digital topics, so much as laying out how to set up a Facebook account, netiquette dos and don’ts, proper email strategies and cellphone essentials. If there’s been some behaviour (or lack thereof) that’s been bothering you, it’s covered in this book.

Now back to those pleases and thank yous…

First published November 14, 2011, on WorkLivePlayCafe.com.

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