From the category archives:


Q: When is it proper and at what age do you address a young man as Mister and not Master? A: Boys may be addressed as “Master” on envelopes and formal correspondence until they are about seven years old, and “Mister” when they become eighteen. Some people use the title as late as age 13.  […]


Baby Shower: For An Adopted Baby

by epi on August 13, 2013

Q: What is the etiquette on when to throw a baby shower for someone who is adopting a baby? Shouldn’t the shower be after the adoption is complete and more of a welcome/meet baby shower? A: A shower for the mother or father of an adopted baby should be exactly the same as any baby […]


Q: Should my 9 year old son address our neighbors by their first name or Mr. and Mrs.? If the answer is the latter, at what age can a child address an adult by their first name? A: A child never addresses an adult by his or her first name unless the adult requests it. […]


Q: My neighbors have invited my husband and I several times for dinner, whether it be an outdoor barbeque and bonfire in the summer or a cozy supper and movie night. We usually arrange for a babysitter to come and watch our children while we are out, but for the first time, our neighbors extended […]


Q: Help! Yesterday, my young son pointed to a man at the grocery store and yelled, “Look at his big, fat belly, Mommy!” I was mortified and at a complete loss for words knowing the man must have heard what he said, but I just shuffled away and avoided the situation. What can I do […]

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Q: My child is well-mannered, but his friends abide by different (or lack of) manners. Can you insist on polite behavior from other kids when they’re in your home? A: Of course! Use the phrase, “In our house, we do it this way,” to establish guidelines for what’s acceptable behavior in your home.


Homecoming Hitch: Young couples

by epi on July 5, 2013

Q: My son and his girlfriend are students at a nearby college, and we’ve invited them to spend Thanksgiving break with us. The problem is, they’ve been living together for six months, a situation we’re not happy with. How should we handle the sleeping arrangements? A: Parents have a right to insist that their standards […]


Q: My husband and I are sometimes hesitant to bring our kids with us to dine out at a restaurant. I have nightmares about being one of those families whose children are running around the restaurant, crawling under the table, or causing other distractions to others trying to enjoy their meal. We really value eating […]


Q: The other day, I was in line at the grocery store when I overheard a woman reprimanding her teenage son for the way that he had behaved earlier in the day. She was neither quiet nor discrete in scolding him; in fact, the cashier and I exchanged a glance acknowledging the uncomfortable situation. Is […]


Boorish Behavior: Setting rules for the kids at home

by Daniel Post Senning on June 19, 2013

Q: My boyfriend’s son comes from college to visit and when he brings his friends into our home, he feels that there are no rules. He brings home friends, alcohol, girls, and last but not least, his father has to run about to introduce himself to his son’s friends. Do you think these actions are […]