7 Ways to Teach Kids Good Manners

7 Ways to Teach Kids Good Manners

Creating good etiquette in your children is simple with these easy steps.


By: Judy Koutsky

Chewing with their mouths open, screaming inside the house, using their hands when they eat – the list of bad manners in kids can be long. And teaching good manners to kids is not always easy, but it is important. Here, proper etiquette in seven easy steps.

1. Model good manners. “You can't expect your children to have good manners if you don't,” points out psychotherapist Christina Steinorth-Powell, author of Cue Cards for Life. Make sure you always say “please” and “thank you,” chew with your mouth closed, elbows off the table, and so on. If you have good manners, your child will emulate you.

2. Practice. “Take your children out to a sit-down meal at a nice (or nice-enough) restaurant. Put away the screens, have them practice using all the utensils presented, putting a napkin on their lap and having pleasant dinner conversation,” suggests Steinorth-Powell. When they’re in the right environment, you’d be surprised at just how much your kids will learn.

3. Communicate expectations. “It’s important that kids know what’s expected of them,” says Rebecah Freeling, a Waldorf teacher and family coach. Tell them exactly what you hope to achieve. Say something like, “It’s not nice for you to chew with your mouth full at the dinner table, instead, please remember to take smaller bites and close your mouth the whole time you’re chewing.”

4. Limit screen time. “Most kids don't learn manners today because they're living in a cyber world. If you want your children to have manners in real life, they need to be present in real life,” says Steinorth-Powell. Limit computer use and have your children engage in more face-to-face activities so they learn good social skills to see what works
with others and what doesn't.

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5. Enforce the expected behavior. “If impolite conversation is the issue, provide space for conversation. Turn off the television, turn off the music, and spend time conversing with your child. Then, when your child is impolite, clearly describe the expected behavior -- and demonstrate the expected tone,” says Freeling. She stresses that once your child understands what you want, be prepared to give a consequence whenever she's rude. “Is she giving you tone? Take something of hers away right after it happens,” Freeling explains. The enforcement of expected behaviors leads to good behavior.

6. Correct mistakes. Don't be afraid to correct your children if you see them making mistakes with their manners. “You are your child's parent, not their friend. Don't be afraid to step in and correct behaviors, because it's the only way they will learn,” says Steinorth-Powell.

7. Celebrate the positive. The best way to encourage good manners is to make positive and encouraging comments when you see good manners displayed. “Celebrate good behavior,” says Freeling, “and be sure to tell them how proud you are.”

How do you teach your children proper manners?



Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on twitter @JudyKoutsky.

Image ©iStock.com/mediaphotos

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Rosywar

Rosywar

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I love these tips, are very beneficial to our daily leves and the relationship of parents, Childrens, couples and the wholes family, thanks for you valuable help.

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