It is not uncommon at all unfortunately with some of today’s children to hear about how bullying and or an ill-mannered child can really intimidate another student in school. Good manners can make a big difference in a student’s success and failure in so many aspects of life.

This is why it is so imperative for parents to start teaching etiquette to their children early. Often times I am asked from an etiquette professional’s perspective, what are some key ways to instilling good manners into children, especially with such a fast-paced family schedule?

What I suggest is to include activities that will infuse interpersonal skills like being a role model/leader in school among their peers, respect and kindness. Here are some back-to-school in-home etiquette tips any parent can do with their child to prepare them for school success.

1. Use Key Gold and True Words — Please, thank you, excuse me and you’re welcome. Although we know to use these words it can be very easy to fall out of practice on using them automatically. It is good for parents to start working with their child to emphasizing the use of these words. Once a child or teen understands this etiquette structure he or she will begin to instantly or automatically use the words in the appropriate manner. This will definitely be a positive stand-out for the child in school, and very much appreciated by teachers.

2. Neat and Tidy — Before school starts is a great time to start children understanding how to clean up all on their own. Whether coming in the house after playing all day in the pool, beach or just outside with the friends, train children and teens to pick-up after themselves. This skill set may not seem like a big deal until you have a classroom full of students. Again, if your child is accustomed to cleaning up after themselves, this will definitely set them apart as a leader and role model. It’s a big plus for them! A great time to practice this rule is at the dinner table and practicing washing dishes after the meal.

3. Respect others and their differences — This skill set is huge. I cannot emphasize this enough. Most schools have now implemented a no-tolerance code for any child who cannot respect others. Monitor the way your child speaks and/or comments about others, even their friends. What may seem to be a harmless comment or action to a child can be detrimental to another. Practice with your child on speaking positive words or giving positive compliments to their siblings and friends. In today’s “give me what I want society” some kids may feel this skill is insignificant; however, understanding the feelings of others and making others feel good is a great leadership skill and a skill that teachers look upon with high regard.

Rose Hedgemond is CEO of Avenues of Excellence and an etiquette and social protocol professional. Do you have an etiquette or social protocol question?  Email her at or follow her on Facebook at Rose Hedgemond and Twitter @AOE_IN.