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Mom's Talk: How to Teach Your Kids Manners

What are your tips for teaching your children manners?

Most moms out there try to teach their children to say those magic words.

Please, thank you, excuse me.

But there's more to manners than just that. What about your 3-year-old who makes an impolite comment about someone's body type? Or your kindergartener who just can't wait her turn to speak.

Check out this list of manners you should teach your child before they turn 9 from Shine.

And then share with us! How do you teach your children to be polite youngsters? What's been successful? What battles just aren't worth waging?

Gloria Casas May 12, 2011 at 04:27 AM
We are working on please and thank you even though my 20-month-old twins can't talk. I figure it's never too early to start. My daughter actually said something like "thank you" the other day! However, we are struggling with #23, using utensils correctly along with not throwing plates of food on the floor.
Elizabeth McGrath May 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM
When I was a child - probably 7 or 8 - I was having dinner with my best friend's family. Mrs Yancey's cooking was quite different from my mother's and, at the end of the meal, having choked down the alien 'spanish rice,' I was asked by Mrs Yancey would I like a piece of 'cheese cake'...I'd never heard of such a thing! My response? "Yuck, no!" Mrs Yancey's sweet-toned "A simple yes or no would be sufficient, dear" has stayed with me forever. Sometimes we get 'jolts' when out in the world...and the lesson makes a greater impact since it's not the same-old-same-old from within the family.
Melissa May 12, 2011 at 12:47 PM
I agree with Angela, Tara and others who question #6 and the idea of repressing feelings, never saying no, or pretending as good "manners". There are polite ways to decline foods or invitations, as Angela and Elizabeth point out. I tell my 5 and 3 year old that they can say "no thank you" if offered food that they don't like but they can't say "yuck" about the food or any other food that someone at the table is eating (usually my food!). Some manners, such as commenting on someone's weight or appearance ("gee, grandpa, you have a big tummy"), is developmental - they will eventually learn what is appropriate. The idea of repressing feelings or pretending is particularly troubling for girls - I urge moms of girls to read "The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence" by Rachel Simmons. As many of you have pointed out, adults' manners have deteriorated, particularly when it comes to technology use. Kids learn by watching us; the most important thing for parents to do is model good manners.
cd May 12, 2011 at 01:29 PM
Our son is grown man now and my advice to new parents you must teach your child manners and rules when they are young as opposed to attempting to shape them when they are adolescents or teenagers. We raised a responsible and very well mannered son who now proudly serves in the Air Force. I guess the following statement would be included in teaching them manners but we taught our son how to respect and treat a female. I think it is extremely important to teach your son how important it is to hold the door for a female and all the other manners you want to see in a male. Some standards will continue to evolve however the basics on how to treat one and another is still the same. Using our manners is not just for children but for everyone. I am not over the top with manners but I believe in the old saying you should treat others as you want to be treated.
Donna1554@gmail.com May 12, 2011 at 01:34 PM
One of the most effective ways to teach children to be polite and have good manners is to lead by example/role model and have those qualities themselves. You can preach, have the schools due special units, etc. but if parents live the qualities they want to see in their children, it will be a way of life and not just a do as I say not as I do lesson.

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