Raising Respectful Children: Book Giveaway

We’ve all been around kids who haven’t learned respect yet, and probably all resolved at one point or another that our kids would learn to be polite and respectful when out in the world.  But how to get there?

Recently I was asked to review the book Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World.   It’s all about parenting in a way that focuses on character training above everything else. The book emphasizes the importance of connecting with a child’s heart to better influence their decision-making and shares ideas for character training at every age.

As an experienced momma, I didn’t learn huge amounts of new information, but there were lots of good reminders.  The book was a great encouragement to stay the course, keep working on heart-connection, and unapologetically, repetitively, and gently call on my kids to interact respectfully with the folks in the world around them.

Now– good news:  I’ve got a copy of this book to give away today.  All you have to do to enter the giveaway is share one facet of of good manners that makes an impression on you. I personally appreciate it when my kids’ friends make eye contact and are willing to have a few sentences on conversation with me.

What about you?  When you interact with a child or a teen, what leaves you saying, ‘Wow, that kid had good manners?’   I’ll choose a winner on Monday!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review.  The opinions stated are my own.


  1. I *really* notice when preschoolers says please and thank you automatically, but actually mean it and not just say it robotically. I think it means that they have an attitude of gratitude.

    I think it’s great when teens can think outside themselves and do one extra thing for someone, from holding a door, to offering to help with a household chore (when they are not part of said household) to taking an extra moment to speak with someone.

    So many ways! I would LOVE to read this book, as I have both a teen and two littles in the house.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read 🙂

  3. I really apreciate when my students in School wiat for my and keep the door open instead of slipping through no matter who comes afte him or her. And I like it when my kids say “hello” to friends and neighbours in a nice and polite way.

  4. It’s a tough call between helpfulness and conversation. Not everyone is a great conversationalist, though, so I’d have to say it is when any individual notices an opportunity to lend a hand. When young children pick up a toy my family dropped or a teenager opens the door for us, my heart just melts with gratitude. It’s tough being a kid, and it is so gratifying to see them look out for each other and even us adults! Small acts of service make a huge difference, and I believe compassion is the purest form of respect.

    I’ve always enjoyed hearing your perspective, Mary. I’m interested in reading this book too!

  5. I love when children say “yes ma’am/sir”, but since I’m from the laid-back Midwest, people act like we’re child abusers when we require that from our kiddos.

  6. I always notice when kids seem to know how to greet adults. So when I see a 7+ year old look someone in the eye that their parent has introduced them to, say “hello” or “nice to meet you” an extend a hand to them, I always think that they have good manners.

  7. Kendra Steinke says:

    I like it when the child looks you in the eye and addresses you by name.

  8. I like it when my children actually pay attention to the conversation and try to interact instead of tryi g to see how fast they can get away from me .

  9. Robin Douglas says:

    I love when the teens who visit my kids in our home stop in to greet me and talk a minute before disappearing into the basement. I encourage my children to treat their friend’s parents the same way. I don’t like to be invisible in my own home.

  10. I’d love to check out this book! I always appreciate when young people are able to initiate and carry respectful conversations with adults (introduce themselves, eye contact, etc…) I’m so blessed that my kiddos are fairly good at this, but we definitely need to work on being respectful when passing others – my little ones seem to have a hard time recognizing the importance of being respectful of the people they’re passing on the stairwell, sidewalk, church aisle, etc… A well-spoken “excuse me” would go a long way here! Neither am I perfect, though – always room for improvement!
    Mary, I recently received your book “The Sane Woman’s Guide…” as a gift and devoured it. I loved it and have been considering offering it as my first giveaway on my own small blog. We are expecting our fifth this winter and I found so much of what you had to offer very encouraging. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience!

  11. I always think children have manners when they can look you in the eye and carry on a conversation (even very briefly). I also like it when my boys’ friends respond when I greet them instead of just ignoring me or looking at the floor.

  12. I’m with you when it comes to eye contact and conversation. I always walk away from kids that do those two things saying “I want our kids to be like them!”

  13. When I offer kids something and they say, “yes, please” or “no thank you.” As a transplanted Southerner, I also like “ma’am” and “sir,” but I don’t expect it in Idaho 😉

  14. I always appreciate when children don’t rudely interrupt an adult conversation…something that is no where near “perfected” in my home!

  15. Waiting their turn for conversation rather than interrupting, especially when they want to talk about something completely different than the existing topic. This has always been a big issue for me, but I did not realize how much it annoyed me until it was my own kid having a problem with it. As an only child of a single parent, it was not generally an issue at home. When we were in social settings, he would, as usual, just tell me what was on his mind. Except then, it was interrupting and annoying! I hated to constantly be correcting him in public or in front of friends, but that was the only place/time it occurred so I was stuck.

    Also, I”m a Southerner, so I also like the ma’am and sir address.

  16. I just spent a week in Spain with our youth group,t hey went to teach English at a Youth For Christ Camp. It was an attempt to reach out, so there was a mix of kids who’d been to Christian camps that YFC had done, and non-Christians that parents saw the posters and sent the kids. I was a bit shocked at the rudeness of some of the kids–I’m not sure if this is a Spanish cultural thing (I think it was a part), a Spanish, non-Christian thing, or a parenting things. The idea of a line was SO foreign. Each kid would just push his/her way up. If there were a few chairs, they grabbed them, they didn’t think to offer them to a grown-up and when the grown up said “Ok, kids on the grounds, chairs are for leaders!” They’d ignore the general announcement and get upset when asked to move one on one. There was no “Thank you” when served something, it was hard to get across at a table, eating family style, one takes an item and then PASSES the tray, you don’t just leave it there. So obviously I find the opposite of all those good manners! 🙂

  17. When I see children behaving well physically (young ones) I am impressed. I know it is difficult for young children to stay calm in all situations so I know they’re showing restraint when I see them sitting patiently and waiting for something. I also love to see teens holding doors and helping others, basically thinking of other people and how they might serve. I am often upset when my children speak to adults the way they would speak to each other – not necessarily rude words, but as very shy child myself their behavior seems too forward for me. I am probably more sensitive to that than need be. Maybe? This book might help me figure that out, ha!

  18. Jennifer says:

    I’ve got relatively shy children, so helping them come out of their shell with adults in everyday situations has been tough work for this extroverted mama. I love when my kids now engage with store keepers (ie ordering their own bakery item), etc and use their please and thank you’d automatically. We continue to work on the eye contact thing as well as speaking clearly.

  19. Bonita Timmons says:

    I think it is good manners when kids whole the door pen for you or when you drop something on the floor and they respectfully pick it up for you:)

  20. Heidi Breton says:

    I usually think a kid has good, respectful manners when they accept an answer from their parent without extra whining or pleading or begging!

  21. I’m from the south. Down here we appreciate being called “ma’am” or “sir”. 🙂

  22. One of my 17 yo son’s friends always greets me and calls me “Mrs. C….” I told him once that he can call me by my first name. Even though he knows me well, he was just so well trained to call adults by their last names that he just can’t help but call me Mrs.

  23. I like seeing children treat their siblings well. Whether you call it kindness or respect or good manners, I like it. My kids don’t do that, and as a result, I am constantly asking myself what “the better way’ might be and trying to figure it out from other, evidently kinder families.

  24. I like to see children hold the doors open for adults and other children.
    We are still working on consistency in this area but I also love to see children say “yes, ‘mam and sir”.

  25. When I was pregnant I was always impressed and very thankful when teenagers let me have their spot on the bus.
    Once, when I was largely pregnant, I was waiting at the clinic that did blood work for a large variety of doctors. A woman told her (probably 9-year-old) son that if there were no empty chairs when a pregnant woman came in, the polite thing to do would be to get up and let her have his seat. I took the last chair just before another woman, also pregnant, walked in… and then another, and another! The boy and his mother both ended up standing- I guess it was a teachable moment!

  26. Honestly, I love it when a child or teen will talk kindly with an adult. I know that often times kids will shy away from an adult and I am so thankful when a child does.

  27. I agree with everyone on making eye contact. It’s respectful. A few of my children have a very hard time with this.

    Anyone else have suggestions on keeping kids from going ‘crazy’ when meeting new people? My daughter (6) gets so excited and jumps around and ON the guest. Her newest thing is showing off the splits. Haha!!

  28. I love when teens . Hold doors, offer to help with dishes, are nice to little kids, don’t text constantly on their phone, in general just think of others, not just themselves.

  29. coraly harlan says:

    I love it when children and teens wait to enter into a conversation… I simply go gaga when I hear the word excuse me followed by a pause as they wait to be addressed. I love it when we have extra guests and the kiddos thank the host for the meal and asked to be excused and remove their dishes. We also just stayed at a hotel and I was blown away at the need to teach my kiddos how to wait properly for an elevator door to open…we dont stand directly in front of the door. If we do that the people on can not get off thus making it hard for us to reach our destination.

  30. I think interrupting is a terrible habit but it’s so hard to teach good listen skills so I am very impressed when a child listens well. I also love to hear a child speak clearly and directly to me.

  31. Good table manners always impress me–5+ year olds that ask nicely for things, participate in conversation and eat without complaining. 🙂

  32. I love it when my boys hold open a door for someone…

  33. I agree that looking you in the eye is key. It tells you they respect you and are listening. I think adults need to be sure to do this too!

  34. Michelle Devine says:

    The manners I like most is when a child looks at you and talks.

  35. I love it when teenagers actually make eye contact and other centered conversation!

    I am also a huge fan of please and thank you!

  36. Sounds like a good read! Definitely agree with the eye contact and basic conversation idea–that’s huge to me! And automatic, sweet “please” and “thank you”s always get noticed too!

  37. My heart melts when my two year old says please and thank you without prompting. A young boy at church held the door for me while I was carrying my baby. Anyone, but especially a teen who will give the seat to you on the bus while pregnant. Teenagers who will have a respectful conversation with adults. So many small things make such a huge difference.

  38. my grandmother always liked the fact that my daughters would look her in the eye when they were talking with her and that they could carry on a conversation with her despite the vast age differences.

  39. I appreciate when children visiting my home seek me out to greet me and make it known they are visiting.

  40. Mary, we often get compliments about our kids behavior, how pleasant and nice spoken they are, etc., but to each other they are awful. We’ve talked, disciplined, grounded til we’re blue in the face. Sadly in the last month I’ve heard 2 of them tell another they hate them. Boy does that get my blood boiling! Did this book address siblings speaking to each other? 5/6 of ours adopted and 2 of those were older kid adoptions (age 10 and 11). I know it takes awhile to learn, but some days I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall. And the ugliness just shoots like venom between the younger 5. Thoughts?

  41. That’s so hard. We are working on this at our house too. Sometimes I give chores to both parties for fighting. Usually I ask for apologies. Sometimes I talk about how brothers and sisters ae your life-friends. But I think in the end it just comes down to not letting kids get too vicious with each other, praying a ton, and just waiting for maturity to come!


  1. […] winner of the book Raising Respectful Children is Amy B. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts about good manners and […]