Three ways to show your child or teen, when shopping with them, is practising confidence through social skills and dealing with sales, restaurant and cafe assistants.

I receive many calls from parents who are worried about their child not showing manners when they expect them to.  I reassure them that children or teens tend not to show manners for parents but will do be perfectly polite when they are with strangers, friends and other family members.

Now that we are out of lockdown and we are getting out and about like never before, really appreciating our freedoms.  Children and teens have new opportunities to engage with lots of people and practice their manners.  How can we guide our kids to showcase their social skills when out and about?

One way is meeting up with friends and family and going shopping and eating out! I have noticed that at times we can walk into shops and never acknowledge the people who work there.  By acknowledging the presence of sales assistants by saying a quick hello we practice basic kindness and who knows, you might find yourself on the receiving end of some excellent service or discounts.  If you acknowledge people, then your children will notice them too and a polite “hello” will become an automatic reflex.

When your child wants to make a purchase using his or her own pocket money, why not have a practice run-through before entering the store about how he or she will greet and speak politely to the sales assistants? Your child will learn how to communicate to strangers more confidently and with grace.

We’re able to enjoy eating out again, so showing your child how to order is essential.  Once receiving the menu say a quick thank you, choose a meal and then encourage your child to clearly state his or her choice to the wait staff and finish with “please”.  Upon leaving, don’t forget to say thank you and goodbye.  There’s no better way to practice the six key politeness phrases a child should learn than in a restaurant: “Hello”, “Please”, “Excuse me”, “Thank you/No thank you”, “May I” and “Good-bye”.

These 3 simple steps can guarantee that your child will be using their manners even when you are not there!


Elizabeth Soos is the owner and founder of Auersmont School of Etiquette within Australia and internationally and is featured in the Western Australian. She helps adults and young people to build and develop self-confidence, who want to know what is possible and what is not possible on a professional level and personal basis through modern etiquette.  Her school assists in mastering all types of situations and moving people forward, opening up to opportunities so they can achieve their long term goals.