Children's success in school -- and
later in life -- depends largely on how well they interact with
others. The key to getting along with others is good manners. The
common courtesies you teach at home are the manners your children
will take to school. For example: saying "please" and "thank you";
waiting their turns; raising their hands to speak in class; not
cutting into line; not teasing others; and picking up after
themselves -- in the school cafeteria, on the playground and on the
Here are some things you
can do at home:
Show and tell your children the
behavior you want. "Hold the door so it won't slam in the next
Your children are more likely to
comply if they understand the reason for the desired behavior.
"You need to write a thank-you note to grandma so she will know
you liked the birthday present she sent you."
Discourage "bad manners" gently
-- without scolding or
shaming children when you're in public. "Next time, I want you
Ask your children questions to
prompt the behavior you want.
"Is there something you want to tell Aunt Betty?" Whispering a
prompt sometimes helps.
"Dress-rehearse" table manners and
introductions. "Let's pretend you're meeting someone new for the
Teach telephone etiquette.
Start with "hello" and "goodbye," then simple phrases like "Just a
Talk about the behavior of
characters on TV. Discuss
what's polite and appropriate and what's not.
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column in this article]
- Be consistent and patient.
It takes time and lots of
reminders to teach children manners. Politely ask your daughter to
remove her baseball cap each time she comes to the dinner table
this with the whole family:
on one manner a week.
polite expression on an index card -- "May I," "Pardon me" or "I'm
card on your refrigerator.
family contest. See how many times you hear each other use the
expression of the week.
occurrence on a sheet of paper with each family member's name on
The best way for parents to teach
good manners is by example. Don't forget to recognize courteous
behavior when you see it, and praise your children when they
remember their manners.
* * *
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question to The Learning
Advisor, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
© Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
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