Dr. Robyn Silverman answers one parent’s question about how to instill manners in her children– especially when they haven’t been overtly enforced in the past.
When children are very young, making people laugh or getting a look of shock is easy encouragement for someone looking for a little extra attention. While it may not be so funny anymore, your children may still be looking for a positive reaction. They may also form some negative habits– resulting in poor manners. Creating new, positive habits around manners may take some time but will certainly be worth it as he shows others consideration, respect, and kindness.
We also can’t deny that boys, especially, get attention for lack of manners. Peers might laugh or think such boys are courageous or “cool.” Media underscores rudeness and lack of manners– so it makes it harder to raise boys without these negative influences.
In her video above, Dr. Robyn suggests and explains the following tips to help instill manners in children (watch the video for more information!):
(1) Nix the negative labels
(2) Dine away from home sometimes to provide opportunities to rise to the occasion.
(3) Explain, expect but don’t lecture
(4) Compliment, praise and be grateful when you see manners
(5) Don’t laugh at poor manners
And remember to be consistent!