Every generation seems to bemoan the erosion of manners. But while today's parents can happily bid a fond farewell to old-fashioned notions like "children should be seen and not heard," politeness still has its place.
Kids naturally develop social skills in the preschool years, so it's a perfect time to teach and reinforce social lessons. The books below serve as modern-day primers on courtesy, graciousness, and respect that will help kids make and keep friends -- skills that will serve them well their whole lives.
Modern-Day Primers on Politeness
It's Hard to Be Five
The tug and pull of a 5-year-old's struggle with his "control buttons" is clearly echoed in the book's rhyming language, which kids will surely enjoy.
Parents can use this book to remind their kids not to interrupt -- or just laugh with them at the little red chicken's bedtime antics.
Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf
Kids will identify with B.B. Wolf's worries and will appreciate the addition of a new friend, an understanding crocodile who helps B.B. figure out how to comport himself at the library tea party.
The Taming of Lola: A Shrew Story
Lola's an extreme example of bad behavior presented with humor. Kids will appreciate being able to laugh at her, and are unlikely to imitate her.
Whoopi's Big Book of Manners
Far from presenting a stiff set of rules, this book begins and ends with a reference to nose-picking, and covers all the gritty ground in between.
Emily's Everyday Manners
Emily Post's great-granddaughter-in-law Peggy Post and great-granddaughter Dr. Cindy Post Senning take their family heritage seriously, but with liveliness that suits a kids' picture book.