Pass the manners, PLEASE!!
With the recent issues in the “friendly skies” with irate passengers and reclining seats, it leads me to wonder if the reports are true that the use of manners is on the decline. This pictograph shows the sad decline in the use of manners in our society today.
But as parents, I don’t think we have to be part of this trend. Simple things like saying, “Please, thank you, excuse me and you’re welcome”, provides our kids with a powerful advantage to making friends easier, being viewed as a good student and much later becoming better spouses and employees for knowing how to act with respect to those around them.
Think about specific behaviors that you think of that polite people have, maybe make this a fun game while driving home from soccer practice. Get your child thinking of the different characteristics or behaviors make someone seem well-mannered. Write down the suggestions, but don’t forget them!! This is a great time to take advantage of some group thinking and try to remember to do as many of them as you can throughout the day.
Model the manners you would like to see in your children. When you ask them to do something ask them by starting out with “please”. When they complete something make sure you reward their efforts with a heartfelt “thank you”. Children learn more from what they see you doing than what you tell them to do, so if they see you displaying manners then they are more likely to use them as well.
One of the best actions you can take in teaching your kids manners is to set limits and keep consistent with not rewarding impolite actions. If your child knows they will miss a playdate, not be able to play with their favorite toy or not be able to use the family car (yes this can work with teenagers) they will quickly learn the value of manners! Hold firm, without anger and follow through with the consequence. Having a very upset child will be a short-term situation… you will be happier long-term, when you have reaffirmed consistently that their actions mattered!
But, what do you do when their reaction becomes an embarrassment to you? Be consistent in your reaction to your child and in creating the same inconvenience for them, that they may have created for you. When my kids are ill-manner it “wears me out” and that means I don’t have the energy to get my household chores done. Someone has to do them and so that becomes their consequence. Working off their actions by doing yard work or washing the car, for example, will allow your child to experience a consequence for their bad manners.
For more information about building better manners or workshops that may be available in your area, CLICK HERE and visit the Love & Logic Institute!!
Kathy Jenkins is the President of Come To Order, a residential professional organizing company in Richmond, VA. As a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Family Manager® Coach, Love & Logic® Parenting Facilitator/Coach and Student Organizer, Kathy especially enjoys working with kids and their families to help them learn good organizational skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. To learn more about Love & Logic Parenting, visit Kathy at The Organizing Tutor.