Parents may despair of ever teaching their children manners but there are ways to do so. And they are so simple and sensible!
1. Be a strong role model. Actions speak louder than words. Set a good example and think twice before you gesture rudely at the guy who cuts you off, yell at the telemarketer on the phone, or eat standing over the sink.
2. Treat your children with courtesy. Ask your kids to come to the table or take out the trash; don’t bark orders. Say please and thank you. Respect their privacy and dignity. Do not rummage through their rooms when they are not home. Do not embarrass them in public but instead take them aside for correction.
3. Be clear and consistent about your etiquette expectations. Make sure your children know the correct way to behave in public and understand the rules. For example, teach them how to make introductions and rehearse good table manners. Familiarity breeds success.
Top 10 Most Important Manners According to Parents
Parents want their children to shine when they interact with others. According to a number of surveys, they say they most want their kids to:
- Always say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
- Write thank you notes for gifts.
- Look people in the eye when speaking to them.
- Pick up clothes left on the floor; put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
- Wait their turn to speak rather than interrupt.
- Use proper table manners.
- Be thoughtful and considerate of others – especially about opening doors and offering seats to older people.
- Listen when others speak and respond clearly when spoken to.
- Respect the privacy and property of others
- Have good phone manners.
None of the above is impossible to achieve and all are traits and practices that will stand your children in good stead when they are adults, too. With just a little persistence and role modeling, your kids will make you and themselves proud!
Joy Schmitt is an etiquette specialist based in Arizona.