Raising polite children sometimes seems like a daunting task. No matter what you do you feel like it is not enough, but with these 5 easy tips to raising polite children, you will feel great about your parenting efforts in no time!
5 Tips for Raising Polite Children
I think it’s safe to say that most parents desire to have polite children. Perhaps that desire even keeps us awake at night wondering if we’ve done enough. Sometimes it may lead us to consider what more we can do to help foster kindness in our “littles”. Here are 5 tips for raising polite children to add to your “late night ponderings”.
Tip #1 – Be a positive role model for your children
Raising polite children requires us, as parents, to be a positive role model for them. Remember the saying “do as I say, not as I do”? Consider tossing this phrase out. Kids pattern their behavior after you. If you want your child to show respect, show respect to them and those around you. If you don’t want your child hitting, avoid spanking them. Being a positive role model for your child requires some forethought, effort, and self-control.
A wise mom once shared an experience she had while raising her children. Her son was helping dad fix the car outside. In frustration, dad used foul language when his mechanical attempts failed. Mom was caught off guard when she heard her young son using foul language later that day. When mom asked the son about it, he simply replied that he heard dad say it. Rather than punishing her son, mom marched out to the garage with her young son. She let her husband know that their son was allowed to say whatever he hears dad say from now on.
Tip #2 – Be clear and consistent in your expectations
Teach your children the importance of being courteous and help them understand your expectation. It’s unreasonable to expect something from your child that has never been established or taught. Kids do well when expectations for their actions are clear. In addition, they need us as parents to consistently expect good behavior from them. As you help your child practice kindness, it’ll eventually become a habit.
Make sure your expectations are reasonable. Be consistent with your expectations. One of the most important things to remember is to be patient. Kids are going to misbehave; it’s inevitable. Don’t expect perfection from your child, just expect effort and progress.
Tip #3 – Introduce courteous words
One of my favorite tips for raising polite children is to introduce courteous words early. As you frequently use “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome” and other courteous words and phrases, your children will have a pattern to follow. Help your kids understand when, why, and how these words and phrases should be used.
Encourage kids to use “please” and thank you(s)”. If your kids forget, offer subtle reminders when needed. “Thanks for saying thanks” is a fun phrase parents can say that acknowledges a child’s kindness and helps encourage the continual use of these words. Help kids recognize the joy they feel from being kind. You can even encourage babies to learn about “please” and “thank you” in your interactions with them. Who knows? It might just be one of their first words if they hear it enough.
Tip #4 – Eat dinner as a family
Eating dinner as a family can be a significant “puzzle piece” in raising polite children. Don’t let eating dinner together go out of style in your home. This time spent together will give your child the opportunity to practice being courteous and polite. As you make efforts to have a positive conversation around the table, your children will learn valuable lessons about “give and take”.
Family dinner can also help teach selflessness, service, and poise. The lessons learned around the dinner table will certainly add up as you make it a priority.
Tip #5 – Start now
If you’re feeling discouraged because you feel like you missed out on raising polite children, don’t worry, there’s still time. Start right now. It’s never too late to help your toddler that rules the roost or your snarky teenager learn how to be polite. Begin by thinking of how you would like your kids to act and set small goals to get there.
Once you have a plan laid out, chat with your kids about what is expected. Make it clear to them that being polite is important. Be firm in your discussions so they know that you are serious. Don’t forget to be patient though, especially with your little kids. Most importantly, be patient with yourself. Remember that raising polite children is an ongoing effort if your efforts don’t seem to be successful at first, keep trying. There’ll be difficult days, but don’t give up, the fruits of your labor will be so worth it.
What do you do when it comes to raising polite children?