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I really agree with you on the door opening principle. It's basic politeness along with please and thank you. My oldest son, now 7, has been opening doors for others (families, elders, etc) for at least 2 years - he's seen me battle a mall door with the baby carriage and all without help. Some people are rude and don't acknowledge his effort but once in a while,someone stops and tells him: Thank you, young man! This makes his day and he's happy he did a good deed! As for interrupting people while they talk, he's learned a good trick when he was at daycare - when you want to talk to an adult who is already in a conversation, you put your hand on the adult's arm to warn them politely that you need their attention for a minute. When there's a break in conversation, the adult knows that the kid wanted to say something... he still does that as we're reading books at night and he want to comment! Thank you for your post!


My mom taught my brothers to open the door for all 5 of us girls and for any woman...and to be the better person to hold it open for other men. My brothers have been teaching their sons to do that for their sisters and mother.

My husband's parents did not teach him or his brothers. And he has never held open or opened a door for me. He never asks our boys to do the same, but I sure do. Out of all my boys, my 11 year old makes sure he opens the door for me at all times and in all places. His manners are golden and his brothers, who have been taught the same thing and time, are not. BUT rest assured I am still working on it and will not give up.


Amen, sister! I dislike poor manners! I'm a teacher and having good manners is so much more important to me than handing out good grades!


I completely agree with you! Manners are important and we've taken lots of care to instill them into our kiddos. It amazes me how many compliments we get when our kids (8 and 12) say "please" and "thank you" in everyday conversation or open doors or pick up something that a stranger has dropped to help them out. I'm glad they get recognized but it shocks me that we are so out of touch with being respectful to one another that a child doing what, in my mind, they should be doing is surprising to others. Sometimes it seems my husband and I are the only ones that are sticklers for manners. Glad to know we're not :) Oh, and I've been known to make my...um...sarcastic comments very loudly, too. Oops. Eh, we're works in progress, right??


I try to teach ALL my kids to open doors for others. there is nothing I hate more than someone opening a door in front of me and then letting it shut in my face. Drives me batty, and I am constantly yelling at my kids for it. My son is probably the best at opening doors for others, and I would say about 90% of the time people say thank you. The other 10% I try to ignore, but it's not always easy, and I have had some experiences similar to this myself.


I try to teach my kids that manners really do matter. I probably say "Thank You" more than anyone I know because I want them to know that everyone deserves recognition for what they do, from holding a door to giving you your food.


Manners at all times are appropriate! I work with the public - lordy they need help. You were right in apologizing to the family. Don't miss and opportunity to say thank-you.


manners matter! kids and adults alike! my kids are the only ones in the school that consistantly thank the cafeteria ladies.

Melanie Juhala

This is such a big issue for me. And it's in the little things, you know? My hubby is a very polite person, but rarely said please of thank you to our children (He does now!!) because, simply, his parents never said it to him! (Okay, they still don't. But that's another matter.) They were of the all too common mindset that you don't need to treat your children with manners. But then WHO WILL? If they don't see it in practice at home where will they see it? School? TV? Video games? The mall?
Manners don't happen by accident. Good for you for teaching them to your kiddos. (And shame on the lady at the mall.)


My son, when he was younger, felt the need to always be the first through the door. It didn't matter what door, but if I opened it, he would sprint under my arm and in. I tried to teach him the whole "hold the door for women and others." but his need to be first always won out. I fixed this by clotheslining him one day as he tried to scoot around me. A few coughs and gasps later, and he saw how great letting Mommy go first was.(chuckle)


One of my son's teachers sings high praises for the way she interacts with the kids and is always willing to hear their problems. But, she is a terrible interrupter! As soon as you start to lay out an issue she jumps in with a solution and then hustles you out the door while you are still trying to explain that she misunderstood the issue. (She is a tickler. I asked her not to tickle my child who is working hard at setting appropriate boundaries with adults after a teacher a few years back who literally held kids upside-down by the feet if they misbehaved. She then announced TO THE CLASS that she couldn't tickle my child anymore because his mother came in but she would still tickle the other kids, so don't worry, we didn't spoil everyone's fun.)


My parents were rigorous about manners. My Dad got after one of my brothers who let the front door shut on my mother because she was behind him. We were also taught to thank all people in service trades--cashiers, waiters, mailmen, and in my youth--elevator operators. I thank bus drivers even today because it was so drilled into me.

We also had to stand up and offer our seat if an elderly person (or any adult) entered the room. Although, I do remember my brothers and I grousing that Mom had us standing up for people just because they were 6 inches taller than us. LOL


I know what you mean about manners--both in adults and children. I am working on teaching my son some basic politeness like please and thank you, yes ma'am, and not to interrupt. Lately, he's been pretty good about saying "Excuse me, Mama" (which sounds heart melting in his two-year-old way!) when he wants my attention, and he is big on thanking me for each individual item on his plate when he eats. "Thank you for making noodles and cheese and sauce for me, Mama."

I always try to give him politeness, as well. I apologize if I bump him. I say please when I ask him to do something and thank him for doing it right away. I even tell him "yes sir" in some instances. I believe that he will be more likely to stick with what I'm teaching him if he sees me modeling it. When I use the same manners to him that I ask of him, he sees that they work both ways. If he is polite to me, I will be polite to him. I dont' know if it will work long-term, but for now, I'm happy to hear him say "Stuse me, Mama," when he needs something.


You should have told her that you knew karate. That would have been bada**.

Irene Myers

More often that not - I have found that senior citizens are at the top of the list at being rude. Whether it's holding a door open, saying please or thank you, talking loud in a movie, etc. Is it that they feel they 'earned' the right to be grumpy and lack of manners?? They should lead by example.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.