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 -Jessica Brown

 You’ve just sat down to dinner when your son starts cramming food into his mouth with his hands while your daughter is demanding the ketchup with no mention of the word “please.” How can you reclaim the

start of politeness for your kids? The answer lies in changing the way you relate to them, says Elizabeth Berger, M.D. a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Ekins Park, PA, and author of Rasing Chichen with Character. “Parents often feel the impulse to scold or lecture when their child is rude,” she says. The best way to raise a child who cares about other people’s feelings is to care about his.” Encourage empathy and politeness in your child with these nag-free tips 

DON’T EXPECT PERFECTION.

 “Children need many reminders before they use manners consistently,” says Elizabeth Partly, the Grand, WA-based author of Hidden Messages: What Our Words and Actions Are Reay Telling Our Children “Kids don’t mature overnight Often, their rudeness stems from childishness, not intentional disobedience. Parents should expect age-appropriate behavior a 4-year-old may not yet have the motor skills necessary to maneuver a fork at the dinner table: an 8-year-old may not know the right thing to say in an adult social situation 

BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL.

 “Kids have a tremendous desire to imitate everything their parents Co.” Dr. Berger explains. Many of us forget our own manners when we’re immersed in everyday life, but if you are a respectful, self-disciplined person your child will want to be one, too. And be sure to use your manners when dealing with your child if you need her to do you a favor, say. Please get me a hammer,” rather than “Go get me a hammer Likewise, apologize if you bump into her or lose your temper 

CORRECT MISTAKES POLITELY.

 Resist the temptation to lecture. It doesn’t teach children genuine concern for other people’s feelings. That will only happen if you respect your child’s feelings,” says Dr. Berger Asle on the hand or sharp. comment will only make him feel hurt, and he’ll be inclined to act up even more. Instead, tell him what kind of behavior you expect says Panty. If your child interrupts you when

you’re having a conversation way. The next time you need me, say ‘Excuse me.” Losing your cool and yelling at him in public will only make you a pear rude as well PREP FOR SOCIAL SITUATIONS. you’re taking your child to a party or other event, set aside time beforehand to go over the kind of behavior you expect from her. if she still acts rudely, leads her away and quietly and calmly corrects her, or discusses the problem later. Realize that kids may feel uncomfortable or silly using colite, adult expressions, says Pantley “They feel like imposters when they say things like I’m fine, and how are you?’ That’s not how they relate to their friends. It will take time for adult manners to feel natural to them.”

 TAKE TIME TO TALK.

 If there is little warm communication in your household, your child will have a harder time trying to relate and empathize with others, says Dr. Berger. A child develops respect for other people’s feelings through his intimacy with his parents,” she explains. “Police children are children who feel that their parents are concerned with their emotions.”

 ASK THOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS.

 They help your child understand why he’s using manners, rather than learning them by rote. “If your child is rude to someone ask him how he thinks that made the other person feel, then have him come up with ways he could have been more polite,” says Partly

 MAKE MANNERS FUN.

 Teachable manners by planning monthly formal dinners, using a tablecloth (old) and fancy china.” you don’t encourage your kids to use these skills at home, they won’t use them in public,” Pantley says. If your child receives a present help her make a drawing to use as a thank you to the giver that way saying thanks will be a pleasure, not a task

 DON’T WORRY ABOUT ISOLATED INCIDENTS OF BAD BEHAVIOR.

 “Every child will misbehave on occasion so don’t assume yours are hopeless whenever they do,” says Dr. Berger. Look at the big picture instead she may have pushed her little brother today, but if her manners have been improving overall during the past six months or so, you shouldn’t be too concerned
-Jessica Brown magazine: Child

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