In this day and age, if a child says, “Yes ma’am,” or “Yes sir,” an adult is stunned. Back in earlier years it was expected, and if the young person did not show respect to his or her elders, it reflected poorly on the parents. Even in today’s world where kiddos are texting instead of listening and playing games instead of reading, manners matter. Not only is it a reflection on you as a parent, but it is also a reflection on our society in general. Here are a few helpful tips on how to teach your children to have good behaviors.
· Start early- If your children learn at a young age that they need to say, “Yes sir,” or “Yes ma’am,” every time they answer someone in authority, it will become second nature. They won’t even know they are saying it after a while. If it is later in life, it will be harder to enforce, but it is not impossible. Correct them gently each time they forget, and reward them later in private by telling them how proud of them you are for using good manners.
· Table manners and dinner etiquette- It is very important to teach your kiddos table manners. Knowing which fork to use when, and how to hold your knife are things that people will most certainly judge him or her on later in life. If you don’t know what is correct, look it up and find out. Another thing that is really important is texting or playing games at the table. Make sure your children are present during family meals. Family time is very important for healthy childhood development.
· Basic kindness- Although many say that Chivalry is sick and dying, there are ways to try to revive it. Children do what they see, so if you want your children to do nice things for other people, do nice things for others yourself. This does not just apply to boys. Show your children that if they see someone walking through a door behind them that that they should hold the door open and not drop it in the other person’s face. For boys, holding a chair, standing up when a lady enters the room, and holding the door for a lady before you go through it yourself, are certainly things that should be learned. However, both girls and boys should learn that if there is someone struggling, who needs help, they should offer their assistance.
If you think it’s too late to step up your parenting skills, you are wrong. New behavior can be learned, it will just take some effort on your part. Teach your children the correct way to behave in public and watch how quickly they are appreciated. You will feel extra proud when someone comments on what a great parent you are.