Monday, June 10, 2013

6 ways to teach your child manners

How gorgeous are my sisters?!  I wish my brother could've been there, but he's in Scotland playing golf.  Tough life. :-)

My youngest sister graduated from high school this past weekend.  I'm so proud of her and the wonderful person that she is.  I am not proud, however, of the way people from my old high school acted during her graduation.  It was, honestly, the biggest display of crazy that I've seen in a while.

Despite the principal's instructions of "holding all applause until the end", there were people yelling insane nicknames after their grad walked, people taking phone calls during the National Anthem, and people acting like they had not one bit of home training.

And the thing that's even more disturbing is that I don't remember this kind of behavior from my graduation or from my brother's.  I remember a few people acting out of line at my sister, Jessica's graduation 2 years ago.  But Sarah's, just 10 years after mine, was a complete animal house.  This really got me scared about where our society is heading.  Ahhhhh!!!

So, I thought of 6 ways we can teach our kids manners, in response to this.  I know there are way bigger issues than just manners...but we have to start somewhere!


1.  Teach them by example.  If you lash out because someone is taking too long ordering in front of you, say rude things about people, and use bad language, your kids will as well.  On the flip side, if you are patient with others, serve people around you, and use your time wisely, your kids are more likely to do the same.  

2.  Give them opportunities to use good manners.  Take them to short performances, to restaurants, to church, etc., where they have to use their good manners.  This doesn't mean that they will behave perfectly right away, but eventually they will catch on.  My mom took me everywhere with her, and I learned so much from those experiences.

3.  Let others teach them.  There is no way you can teach your child everything.  It truly takes a village to raise a child, I believe.  That's why it's important to make sure your kids are participating in the arts and in sports.  Doing so allows them the opportunity to have good mentors to show them how to behave well in different settings.

4.  Look people in the eye.  This one sounds so silly....but it's true.  I know way too many people that don't look others straight in the eyes when they're having a conversation.  Not to say that you have to maintain firm eye contact the entire time...but when you don't look at someone's eyes, you are showing that person and your children (who are watching you ever so closely), that personal relationships don't matter.  

5.  Don't always bash the "other person".  When your child comes to you with a problem they're having with another person, and you are constantly finding fault with the other person, your children will never learn how to face challenges and handle situations themselves.  It's important to support your child, but teach them that there are 2 sides to every story.  And on the other end, don't play devil's advocate constantly.  It's hard to find a nice balance, I know.  If you only take the other person's side, your child won't come to you with their issues, and that would be a shame to lose that connection with them.

6.  Teach them the importance of work.  When a child knows the value of hard work, they are more likely to be more respectful of people around them and of situations.  

I am, in no way, an expert when it comes to this matter...and my kids are still learning about this, but I'm trying hard to teach them the best I can every day.

What is something you think will help teach our children manners?

37 comments :

Annie said...

You and your sisters are absolutely gorgeous, and congrats to your sis on graduating! I have a sister that's 10 years younger...and I've definitely noticed a huge difference in the way kids her age act too...it's crazy! These are great tips Ashley :)

Annie
The Other Side of Gray

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Joy Shana said...

Great tips,your sister are beautiful
Shana-Style

Courtney B said...

Congratulations to your sister!
My friend and I were talking about her little sister's graduation on Saturday. She said it was the craziest and most immature graduation she's ever been to. She said the kids were crazy and not very respectful. Apparently it's the new thing for the younger generation? But I will totally be teaching my kids manners and they will act on them if their lives depend on it, ha ha!

Amy Shaughnessy said...

I agree with ALL of these, Ashley. I sure hope my boys grow up with proper manners and learn to be gentleman. You and your sisters are so cute by the way. :)

Amy

Fashion and Beauty Finds

fashion-meets-art said...

so interesting. thanks for sharing. love it :)
kisses

FASHION-MEETS-ART by Maren Anita

Katie said...

you girls are so beautiful!! love this list. i like the one about taking them places - i think a lot of people avoid those places but i think it's important to bring them so you can teach them!

RoselyC said...

Times are changing and not in a good way. Most children now a days don't even greet people or say thank you or excuse me. And sadly parents are to blame. Teaching them to be polite may not seem important to many, but it's our responsibility to raise kind and well mannered persons. Love your post.

s said...

i feel the same way about 3 and 4, esp for my girls. Love this post, and what great rolemodel u are for your precious (and adorable) sons! xO!
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Helene said...

i have twin sisters and bot of them graduated but from different high schools- both were very different. and i agree kids and even parents were going crazy!! love the ways you mentioned and gives me hope for the future!

TheTinyHeart said...

Congrats to your sister! That is sad that people were being so rude during a graduation!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
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Kristie said...

I agree. But would add one more thing, talking to your child.
I think if we let behavior slide without addressing why it might be inappropriate or discussing proper behavior in the situation we don't give our kids a chance.

Talisha Reupena said...

You could not have said it better! I agree, I'm a firm believer of leading by example. It truly does take a village to raise a child. Great post, I often find that people are losing their politeness and manners. Sometimes it's best to get back to basics. Thanks for this! :)

Kelly {Sparkles and Shoes} said...

My parents always believed in please and thank you's and shaking peoples hands while making eye contact - so important!

xx
Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Rachel said...

What a good-looking bunch of sisters! Your two boys are precious!

Always Maylee said...

I totally agree that the younger generations don't seem to be as well-mannered and it can definitely be scary! Great tips for teaching the young ones and I totally think that good manners is important!

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Kimberly said...

So good! I need to be better about not bashing other people when I'm upset. Also I need to stop talking like a high school student (I taught for five years and I'm pretty impressionable, ha!) Almost every other week our FHE lesson is about being reverent during Sacrament meeting. It's hard to sit that long when you're two, but letting kids run wild during church will never help! Thanks for this!

Kat@shop.school.sleep. said...

such pretty girls!! I worked as a teacher at a high school and we had to participate in graduation...yeah people get way to crazy!! It's like people don't care about Rules anymore.

Amanda @ Eloquent English said...

Look people in the eye is a big one in my book! I hate when people don't look you in the eye. ARGH!

B said...

I totally agree with you! I feel like manners, respect, etc. have really declined in the last ten years. I believe it really comes down to parenting. You can teach your children manners and be firm without being a dictator. It is so great to see someone having a discussion about this and raising their children differently. Good for you lady!

Cortne said...

It's complete lack of consideration. Consideration is big one that I teach in our home. It's really so simple. Love seeing this sisterly love.
Cortne

Sam M said...

I totally agree, kids today are not being taught manners. It's nuts to see how they behave. It's probably harder to teach them manners and make sure that they stick to them, but what kind of person are you teaching them to be if you're not teaching them to behave? I have loved watching my little sunbeams learn how to behave, and mostly stay in their chairs during class. It's been wonderful to seee the difference from our first class to 6 months later. Congrats to your sister!

Susannah said...

Congrats to your sister for her graduation! How great that you got to attend! I agree completely that people are getting crazier and crazier! Your tips are so great and hopefully really will help parents in raising their children. :-)

Emily said...

Love this! These are all things I have had to help teach all my ballerinas this past year. Manners are super important!

Emmy said...

Amen!! It is sad how few seem to be taught basic simple manners anymore; all part of the me, I want it now society I guess. Great tips on things to teach and yes your sister is beautiful as you all are!

Alix said...

Congrats to your sister!!!! I noticed the same thing at my sister's graduation. It's sad that manners are not used as much as they could be. I love that you are teaching your boys the importance of manners! I'm sure they will be wonderful gentlemen:)

Catherine Bailey said...

I love this post Ashley! I don't have children yet but it is nice to see that people out there are concerned about manners and actually think children should have them! I went to my cousin's graduation a few weeks ago and it was terrible. People were so loud and rude that you couldn't hear other children's names being called. SO selfish!

Sofia Donatelli said...

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Head to Toe Chic said...

Congrats to Sarah on graduating!!! You are so right about teaching manners, you definitely have to set an example.

xo,
Angela

Life's a shoe said...

what a great post! you have some really great and relevant points!

Chelsea MacMeekin said...

I am forever amazed at the lack if manners that kids exhibit these days! These are lovely recommendations and some I will be adding to our home!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

I love all these. I can't stand it when people dont think manners for kids is important!

smk053078 said...

I agree....society today is quite appalling in certain situations and I am doing the same thing with my kids...trying to lead by example, having them involved in things outside our home and keeping Christ alive in our house. It's scary to think what things will be like when they graduate.

Colleen said...

could not agree more with all of these!

GoldenGirls said...

These are sooo true! Thanks for sharing! Hugs from Cali! xx The Golden Girls

Care said...

Couldn't agree more!! Manners is one of the biggest things our world is missing! I pinned this so when I have kids ill have a huge reminder:) thanks you for sharing Ashley and congrats to your sister!!!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Yes, yes, yes! These are all so true! It's strange because it all sounds like common sense, but obviously it's not any more.

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