One of the most important things you can do for your child is to teach her good manners and respect. Good manners and respect never go out of style, and they’re always appropriate. Unfortunately, they’re few and far between these days. It’s much more likely you’ll encounter a child who treats his peers and elders with disrespect, but it’s not a given. You don’t have to raise children like this. You can raise good kids with good manners and respectful behavior with these three simple steps.
It’s not enough to expect respect and good manners. Kids learn by example more so than by direction. What this means is that if you show your children respect and you use good manners when speaking to them and when around them, they’re more likely to do the same. Furthermore, it’s much easier for children to show respect and learn good manners when they have a reason to do so; it’s difficult to expect a child to use these habits on you if you don’t use them on your children.
Expect Good Behavior
Expectations are often clear. When you expect your children to behave well, treat others with respect and to always use good manners, they’ll do so. Of course, they’re children, so they’ll slip up from time to time. However, by expecting nothing less than appropriate behavior, you leave no room for anything less.
Encourage Good Behavior
It never hurts to encourage children’s good behavior. Positive reinforcement and encouragement are always acceptable. For example, if you see your child treating an adult with respect and using good manners, be sure to point it out and to praise it. This makes your child feel good and want to continue to experience that good feeling by continuing to behave in this manner. It’s a great lesson.