How to teach your child good manners and where to start.
One of the best compliments a parent can receive is when someone compliments your children’s good behaviour. This usually happens when you as a parent aren’t around to check up on your children and another adult notices their good behaviour. Good behaviour is something that is taught, so is bad behaviour. That means if your children have bad behaviour there is hope and can be fixed, since behaviour is something that we learn.
In this article we will discuss the following important aspects of raising children to have good behaviour:
If you want good behaviour, show good behaviour.Explain why certain behaviours are good.Raise children with the awareness of others.Reward good behaviour.
If you want good behaviour, show good behaviour.
How many parents wish their children would just speak politely to adults, yet the parents themselves speak in a demeaning way to their spouse or children? If your children display bad behaviour, it means you have to do a bit of self-reflection on your own behaviour. Children rarely do what you say, they do what you do.
Explain why certain behaviours are good.
Children are curious by nature and absorb information like sponges. Don’t just tell them what to do, explain why they should do it. When you explain why they should be courteous, they will have more information about the topic and regard the action you want them to perform as more important. For example, if you want them to have good table manners, explain why it is important: It will make your friends feel very uncomfortable to watch you eat with your mouth open and they see all the chewed food in your open mouth.
Raise children with the awareness of others.
Children are born selfishly simply because nature intended their survival instinct to only look out for themselves. However, as your children grow up it is important to teach them to consider the people around them and their feelings. That is called awareness, because you are aware of not just your own needs and feelings, but also the needs and feelings of the people around you.
Emily Post, American author famous for writing about etiquette, once said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
Reward good behaviour.
Positive reinforcement means to reward good behaviour so that, that behaviour is associated with the reward. It’s simply a form of encouragement. This means you as a parent need to notice the good things your children do and thank them for it. Why does this technique work? If your children try their best to do something good but it doesn’t get noticed or rewarded, but they always get punished for their bad behaviour, then the bad behaviour is the only actions that get attention. All the attention is therefor on the bad behaviour and if they ever want your attention they will continue to display bad behaviour.
We want to encourage all the parent’s our there to raise their children with good manners and invest in teaching them good behaviour. Remember, what you teach your children now will be the qualities they have as adults. Andy Andrews puts it this way: “The goal is not to raise great kids. It’s to raise kids who become great adults.”