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Back to School Etiquette

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Is learning etiquette on your back-to-school list? It should be! Etiquette is about building relationships, showing respect, and building self-esteem. Now, more than ever, we need a reminder to use compassion and kindness. Take a little time for some “home” work before the school bell rings, and I promise you will have a more confident child on the first day of school.

Magic Words

Make sure you use the words “please” and “thank you” and insist your children do as well. Prompt and remind them as needed, then reward them when they say it on their own. It won’t take long to get them in the habit.

First Impressions

Have your child practice saying their teacher’s name, particularly if they have a difficult last name. Role play meeting the teacher or friends. Show them how you introduce yourself. Smile and say “Hi, I’m Jane, it’s nice to meet you.” Then let them have a turn, they can use silly made-up names to keep it fun.

Respect Others Time

Before school starts test run your morning routine. Try setting timers to stay on task and minimize the chaos of getting to school by the time the bell rings. Make sure kids wear clothes and shoes they can button/tie/snap without help from an adult.

Be Kind

Empathy can be difficult for little ones. Find everyday examples that illustrate how what we say and do make others feel. Let someone with just a few items go ahead of you in the check-out line or help your child write a thank-you note. Show them how being kind will help them make friends.

Table Manners

Have your kiddos practice eating a school lunch at home. Can they open milk cartons, and get the straw in the juice box without making a mess? Awesome! Remind them of the basics, not eating off the table, using utensils/napkins, and chewing with their mouth closed.

Bathroom Manners

Going to the bathroom in public can be icky at any age. Make sure your child knows how to flush a commercial toilet and boys know how to use a urinal. Remind them to always wash their hands with water AND soap!


Good manners are important, but safety matters most. While they may not be able to share crayons with a classmate, there are plenty of others for children to be kind. Explain how wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from others, and hand washing are easy ways to show respect for those around us.


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