Manners Matter: How to Help Your Kids With Theirs - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, September 13, 2010

I was recently visiting my daughter when my grandson had a friend over to play. This young man, at eight years of age, had the best manners I have ever experienced in a youngster. He was extremely polite, self-assured and talkative with adults. I wondered how his parents had managed to teach him to be such a fine young fellow. While I do not really know what they did specifically I can share with you some of the things that I think are important in teaching young children how to conduct themselves in public situations and with adults.

1. Be a role model. Use good manners yourself with your spouse, your friends and relatives and with children. Expect that of your child and praise him for using good manners.

2. Talk about and read books about good manners. Children need to know what to expect and they need to practice. Books can help and so can discussions of how to act in different situations.

3. Role play. Give your child a chance to experience what it is like to use good manners. You can get her to role play by putting on puppet shows where the puppets act out scenarios where they practice using good manners.

4. Require that your child use good manners all of the time. Just because she is playing is not a reason for being rude or impolite.

5. Limit exposure to television and computer images of poor manners. When children do see those things explain that you have higher expectations of them than they are seeing in shows and on videos.

6. Make corrections as mistakes happen. Do not let time pass - that only makes the child think it is not very important.

7. Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to be around adults. Help him get comfortable talking with them and interacting with them. This will give your child confidence that he can carry on a conversation and feel good about himself doing it.

8. Teach your child to be interested in other people. Help her create questions to ask in social situations that are appropriate and that lead to interesting conversations.

9. Help your child learn to have good self-esteem. Celebrate genuine success with him and encourage him to feel good about who he is.

10. Keep your child talking. Use meal times to engage everyone in family discussions and conversations. Teach your child that good conversation is fun and stimulating. Help her increase her verbal ability as often as you can.

These are just ten things you can do to help your child have good manners and be able to converse appropriately with adults. If you look, you will find many more things you can do during the normal course of your day. The most important thing is to be consistent. Like any other thing in parenting consistency is the key to making great things happen with your child.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here, or click on the "Parenting" tab under Labels in my side bar. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at:
sheila said...

Great post! Oddly my kids always had great manners. Even as little, little kids. I think I just got lucky. Plus, I think when you pay attention to them that helps too. ALl these are great tips!

Aimee said...

Such good points. I always tell my kids that good manners will get them further in life than they could ever imagine! Unfortunately, good manners have become sort of a lost art!


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