Brush Up on Etiquette Essentials
Is your child minding her manners? Your child is on the brink of a stage that depends on it, but it's not too late to brush up on essential elements of etiquette.
What You Need to Know
Good manners and a strong sense of respect are essential to building healthy, meaningful relationships. They will be especially important when your child encounters the varied styles and expectations of multiple teachers on a daily basis in middle school, along with friendships that consume an enormous part of the day as your child's social life grows more complex and sophisticated.
How You Can Help
As etiquette education becomes increasingly essential to your child's social development:
- Instill values by following the “Golden Rule of Parenting”: Be the person you want your child to be – all the time, even when you think she isn't watching. “Do as I say, not as I do,” will not do after all.
- Point out everyday good manners, such as holding the door for people behind you or saying “thank you” to others.
- Teach your child the value of selfless acts – encourage donations to a holiday gift drive.
- Point out and discuss examples you both notice of good and bad sportsmanship: thanking losers and congratulating winners after any game.
- Use your child's next argument with a friend as an opportunity to discuss resolution strategies and personal responsibility – earnest discussions friends about what he feels, why something hurt, admitting when he's wrong, and negotiation healthy win-win compromises.
- Instill good table manners, and explain to their child that people really do judge him by his mealtime etiquette. Have your child eat at home the way you would have them eat in public: cut with a knife, avoid slurping soup, etc.
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