From the category archives:


Q: I once received a card with a gift for my newborn requesting that I not send a thank-you note and use the time for my family.  I found it very useful at such a busy time.  I would like to send the same thing to a friend but am not sure how it should […]


Q: I am having a joint party for my 18 year old son’s high school graduation with his best friend. We did a joint invitation with a photograph of both boys on it. My question is: some of the guests that I am inviting are not really friends of the other boy or his parents […]


Q: I am planning a beach condo vacation and allowing my 13 and 16 year old kids to each bring along a friend. I will be providing transportation, beachfront accommodations, breakfast, lunch, and snacks daily. I do not cook dinner when I am on vacation so we eat out every night, however paying for 2 […]


Q: My son is having his first birthday party in September and my husband and I are on limited funds s we were thinking of suggesting a potluck birthday where everyone can bring a little food that they like and then everyone can try a new food. Is this a rude or bad idea? A: […]


Q: What is the correct way to address an invitation going to a 2-year-old boy for a child’s birthday party? A: Informal correspondence, such as a birthday party invitation, should be addressed using only the child’s first and last names. The title “Master” is only used for formal correspondence, such as a wedding invitation, to […]


Q: Is a child required to write a thank-you note to the children who attended his/her birthday party? We have followed the rule of writing a note to anyone who sent a gift but was not in attendance. However, we have noticed that many children are sending thank-you notes to all party attendees, not just […]

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Q: As my child is getting older and I am trying to instill good manners, I have a question regarding the polite response to a person sneezing. The German “gesundheit” speaks of wishes to good health. In the U.S. we use “Bless you” or “God bless you.” Is there a polite response to a sneeze […]


Q: Is it appropriate to breastfeed at the table in a public restaurant (even when the mother’s breast is covered)? A: It is fine, assuming the  mother is discreet and, as you suggested, keeps her breasts covered. It is preferable to choose or request a discreet location in the restaurant, as well.  


Q: What is the etiquette on the number of gifts to bring to a child’s birthday party when multiple children of ours are invited? A: There are two ways to handle this. The first is to have each of your children give his/her own gift; the other is to have one, larger gift from all […]


Q: Is it considered improper etiquette to drink milk out of a cereal bowl? Our 2-year-old has started doing this at breakfast with her cereal and my wife and I want to teach her good manners. A: She is very young and it is great that she enjoys her milk! However, eventually you would want […]