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Yes, Please: Vintage Magazine Offers ‘Lessons in Manners for Children’ with Unintentional Hilarity (PHOTOS)

Highlights for Children

Buy things like . . . friends? A face without a scowl?

It’s never too early to teach kids about manners, with those as young as 2 and 3 capable of uttering “please” and “thank you” among their first words.

Manners get more nuanced as children grow older, and given that there’s no shortage of people with bad manners, they can’t be taught often or emphatically enough the importance of acting civilized.

In the early 1950s, Highlights for Children magazine printed a series of cartoons relating to children and what constitutes proper manners. While the messages aren’t necessarily outdated, somehow the delivery seems awfully antiquated.

Take a look:


  • Lesson #1 1 of 8
    Lesson #1
    If the worst thing Goofus does is stand up on the davenport after he was named Goofus, it would seem he's actually doing pretty well by his family.
  • Lesson #2 2 of 8
    Lesson #2
    If there's something more dangerous than letting a child walk around named "Poozy," by all means, alert the authorities at once.
  • Lesson #3 3 of 8
    Lesson #3
    Lesson: Don't wear a shirt and have things thrown at you.
    When you're older, those "things" will likely be dollar bills.
  • Lesson #4 4 of 8
    Lesson #4
    Playing with food is for little kids.
    Now that I'm big, I know how to hide food under my napkin, feed it to the dog or surreptitiously throw it in the trash.
  • Lesson #5 5 of 8
    Lesson #5
    Lesson: This is what happens when children get to make up the lessons.
  • Lesson #6 6 of 8
    Lesson #6
    Mostly so I can get corrective-ear surgery.
  • Lesson #7 7 of 8
    Lesson #7
    Buy things like . . . friends? A face without a scowl?
    Good idea!
  • Lesson #8 8 of 8
    Lesson #8
    That would indicate you have more than one friend, yes?
    Whatever you say, son. Whatever you say.

All photos used with permission from Retronaut.co

More from Meredith on Babble’s Mom blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Toddler blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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