From the category archives:


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 […]


Q: I have a 2 year old and I have note cards with her name printed on the front. When I write the thank-you note on the card do I sign my name and write the note from me, the mother, or do I write it in the 3rd person as if the child is […]

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Q: Friends with young, sick children visited with us last weekend. When one has sick children (babies and toddlers who share toys and put them frequently in their mouths), what is the proper etiquette when invited to someone’s home who also have young babies or toddlers? Should they postpone or cancel until their children are […]


Q: Is it appropriate to allow children to type their thank-you notes instead of handwriting them? My 10 year old son gets very frustrated when writing and tends to make numerous mistakes, causing him to have to start over, but he is a fantastic typist. I allowed him to type his thank-you notes after this […]


Q: I am in the process of planning a birthday party for my soon to be four year old son. Many of the children that he is friends with have older and/or younger siblings. Some of these friends are neighbors in which our families are friends. But some of my son’s friends are from preschool, […]

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