Parenting Solutions: Bad Manners
Is discourteous, rude, flippant, or disrespectful; needs repeated "behave yourself" reminders; lacks social skills for certain settings; doesn't understand the need for common courtesy
The Change to Parent For
Your child learns age-appropriate etiquette skills and habits of civility and uses them in a respectful and courteous manner without reminders in everyday life.
Question: "Our 'sweet' son seems in need of a "manners makeover." We're going to a family reunion this coming summer and I'm concerned I'll be mortified. Is it too late???"
Answer: It's never too late to teach good manners—in fact, many businesses now require their adult employees to take etiquette courses. But the best way to boost courtesy is to work on just one or two manners at a time, then have your child practice them at home until he can use them without your etiquette reminders. If you start those courtesy lessons ASAP, your son can arrive at the reunion as your "well mannered" and sweet kid whom you'll be proud to show off.
A survey by U.S. News & World Report revealed that nine out of ten Americans feel that the breakdown of civility is a problem, and nearly half rate the problem as extremely serious.1 Ninety percent of Americans polled said manners and good social graces have significantly eroded over the past ten years and that the situation is only getting worse. What's more, 93 percent of adults feel that the major cause of all rudeness is that parents have failed to teach respect to their kids.2 By failing to deliver those lessons, we are doing our kids a huge disservice, and for a number of reasons.
Scores of studies find that well-mannered children are more popular and do better in school. Teachers speak glowingly of them; parents make sure they are on the top of their kids' invite lists. Polite kids are just plain nicer to be around. Because courteous kids are more considerate of others' thoughts and feelings, they are also more respectful and a less selfish breed. Courteous kids also have an edge later in life: members of the business world tell us that their first interview choices are those applicants displaying good social graces. Whether you think it's time your child has a more intensive rudeness makeover or just a quick manners tune-up, here are the proven solutions to cultivate courtesy in your child, make respect a priority in your home, and teach crucial habits that will help him both now and forever in all areas of his life.
Signs and Symptoms
Every child has an "off day" and forgets his manners, but here are signs that indicate that your child needs a more serious manners tune-up:
- A typical response is an impolite tone (sarcastic or surly) delivered with disrespectful body language (rolling eyes, smirking, shrugging shoulders).
- Impolite behavior is now more frequent or becoming a habit.
- Constant reminders are needed to reinforce manners that you thought you had already taught.
- Discourtesy is causing friction in your everyday relationship and breaking down your family harmony.
- Social experiences and peer interactions (birthday or slumber parties, dinners, and so on) are hindered because your child lacks certain social graces or doesn't feel comfortable using them.
- Discourtesy is ruining his reputation among friends, parents, teachers, relatives, and family.
- You are seeing increasing disrespect, poor character, and diminishing moral intelligence.
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