Today's "pleases" and "thank yous"

We know "pleases" and "thank yous" are a must, but they can get pushed to the side in our automated world. As kids get used to making demands on digital devices such as Alexa, you might want to suggest they offer up a please and thank you, even if it's to a virtual assistant. And be sure to reinforce these terms when you're out and about, receiving a gift or spending a night with friends.

Acknowledge people

Screens can be great for educating kids and keeping them occupied, but they come with a myriad of issues that most parents can see. One issue is that if children are glued to their screens when someone enters the house, they might not raise their heads to acknowledge them. It's not only rude, but it stops children from practicing one of the most important social graces -- acknowledging others.

Stand up for those in need

There are often complaints that kids (and adults alike!) don't automatically offer their seats to the elderly, or other people who might be in need. Insist that your kids offer their place when needed and show this by example. One thing to impress upon your children is that they need to look out for others while they're in public, not just bury their heads in their phones, books, or just gaze out a window.

Polish up those table manners

With the rise in the eating in front of screens and going out to dine, many children are losing the art of eating properly at the table. Teach your children to set a perfect table -- if only once a week -- and insist they eat with impeccable manners (obviously, the scale of "impeccable" varies with age, so keep those expectations in check!).

Watch those personal comments

In a world where so many people can share their opinions (whether they're desired or not) at a click of a button, among all the positive and kind comments there is often a barrage of criticisms and mean remarks that can do a lot of damage. Enforce the rule that your child should never say anything they wouldn't want to hear said about themselves, and you're off to a great start. Reinforce the need to be kind and that should set them on the right path.

Don't interrupt adults (unless it's absolutely necessary)

Parents are very mindful these days of trying to spend more time with their children and perhaps are too attentive to their needs. While it's great to be hands on, it's important for children to know that they sometimes aren't at the center of your attention. If your chatting to a friend and a child runs in demanding an ice cream, let them know it's not appropriate to either interrupt adults (unless it's an emergency) or demand anything! A little "excuse me" and "may I have" go a long way!

Ask before you post

 A modern issue is one involving social media. There are a number of rules your children should stick to when using their preferred platform. Be sure to teach your child not to share other people's news, photos, or information without checking with them first.

Show interest in others

Kids have a tendency to be a little self-centered and inconsiderate at times. Teach your child the importance of taking an interest in others and what they have to say. Encourage your child to ask questions of others -- this is most effective when a child sees the parent in action.

Keep those words clean

It's likely your child will come across cuss words or blaspheming at school or on TV -- or they might even have a relative whose language is sometimes less than desirable. Insist that bad language is a "no-no." As kids gets older and test you a little, you might want to introduce a cussing jar -- the thought of losing their pocket money for the sake of a few naughty words might keep things at bay.

Share with a generous heart

Kids can get a little possessive and reluctant to share with others. Make sure your child knows the importance of sharing their toys, treats, and even ideas with others. Not only will this be a great lesson in sacrifice, it will also encourage your child to realize they are part of something bigger than themselves and their immediate family.