Has anyone ever complimented you on the fact that your child is polite and mannerly? No? You aren’t alone, but, that doesn’t make it correct or right. The world continues in a downward spiral of general good manners and consideration for others, and, like it or not, it all starts with the parents. If you don’t teach your children to say “Please” and “Thank You” and, not to tease and bully others, and, to give respect to authority figures and do as asked by those authority figures all hope for a civilized world is lost.
Why manner matter in children
Imagine your “little angle” slamming something to the ground in a temper tantrum because he or she didn’t get his or her way. Imagine your same “little darling” running up and down an airplane screaming at the top of their lungs. Now imagine trying to conduct an important business teleconference and can’t get your child off the computer because his or her games are far more important than you earning a living. Not a pretty picture right?
Now imagine you’re a teacher. Imagine your child demonstrating these bad manners in class. Now multiple that number by 30 times. And, you wonder why your children aren’t learning anything in school? Who can possibly teach these little monsters (and that is not meant in the fun, Lady Gaga sense) if you can’t get them to sit down and listen?
Now imagine you are a police officer. You see a 16 year old run a red light because “the rules don’t apply” to him or her. Does the police officer let your child off the hook because he or she is just “so special” and it’s “cute” or “cool” that he or she tried to get away with breaking the law? What if no one obeyed traffic signals?
Houston we have a problem and the problem is your child. And, yes, it is your child this time. It is all children, not just yours. Manners matter! And, it starts at home. If you don’t use “Please” and “Thank You” then it is time to start because as a parent you are your child’s main source of learning. If you are rude and crude, your child will be rude and crude. If you are polite and mannerly, your child will be polite and mannerly.
Everyone else does it
Remember trying to get away with “everyone else is doing it” when you were growing up? Remember how your parents o grandparents or guardian grounded you for your stupidity using this defense? That’s because our parents and grandparents or guardian cared about us and who we were going to be when we grew up and they cared how you acted beyond the walls of your home.
This isn’t to imply today’s parents don’t care about their children, they do, but, they care in the wrong way. They are too worried about being a pal or friend instead of being a parent, and, so discipline went out the window. And, discipline does not mean slapping, hitting or any other type of physical harm to a child. That is never acceptable. Never! Nor is verbal abuse or belittling a child ever acceptable. It isn’t so don’t do it!
Discipline is simply what the majority of us experienced growing up, being denied something we really want to stress a point about something we did that was very wrong, and, having a parent (or grandparent or guardian) take the time to explain to us what we did wrong and why it is was wrong. It worked for us, it worked for our parents, it worked for our grandparents, and, it will work with today’s children if you just take your job as a parent seriously and teach right from wrong and enforce it.
Teaching manners is no different. It takes time and reinforcement and good examples by you, but, it can be achieved, and, if you start from the day the child is born, it will never be an issue in the first place.
If you can’t teach your child, it might be something deeper
Some people simply can’t control their children or teach and enforce the necessary social skills they need in life. Sometimes the child has emotional problems, sometimes the child has been simply indulged far too much or perhaps there is a physical condition preventing the child from listening, understanding, and, cooperating. There are ways around it, and, it does involve bringing outside experts into the fold. You may need a medical doctor or even a psychologist or psychiatrist to get to the heart of the matter, but, make no mistake about it… It is your responsibility as a parent or guardian to help your child in every way possible and that includes finding out why your child is being rude, ill mannered or simply will not listen and follow directions. Professionals can not only identify the problem, but, give you the necessary skills or medical help to correct or overcome the problem. You owe it to your child, so, do not let you own pride stand in the way of your child and the entire life in front of him or her!