Teaching Children Manners

The important task of teaching your children manners falls on the parents. It matters not if they are taught as a side note by a teacher at school or Sunday School. The first thing we need to remember is that good manners will not stick unless they are being modeled by the parent(s). Parents with bad manners produce children with bad or worse manners. So, children seem to pick manners up from example rather than instruction per say. Also, children with good manners generally have, if not a direct love and belief in God, at least a healthy respect for His creation. Good manners shows respect for people… there is a morality exhibited, a way to treat people. So parents must pass that along as well. In addition, good manners need to be reinforced. Until it becomes a habit of considering other people’s feelings, we tend to only consider our own and so the creating of good manner habits must push the individual against the current of me me me and that sometimes takes reinforcement with punishments. Next on the list is work ethic, a dying-but-I-wish-it-wasn’t thing in culture now. Having good manners requires some level of energy and the willingness to do work well. It also, in a similar vein, requires some self-sacrifice. Standing up while an elderly lady accepts your seat is a self sacrificing thing to do, a good deed, no heroic thing nowadays. You then have the follow up of standing until another seat becomes available or the duration of your wait. Horrors! However, along with the requirements and expectations of good manners, and reinforcement of it, there is also a fabulous twist you can bank on with your children. You can tell them with all honesty that they will always be rewarded for good manners and respectful treating of others. This is a true Biblical concept repeated in Scripture. When you do good things with no expectations in return, you will feel good but also will have a reward, either here on Earth or later in Heaven. And it is even better if your works are unappreciated because God blesses you more for those. These wonderful rewards and blessings promised for us are worth some discussions with our children about them. Sometimes the smile and thank you received will bless your heart or the job you get because you had such good manners in the interview will bless your pocket book, but regardless of those things, you make society better, uplift morale and make Jesus smile down from Heaven at you. Please, for all our sakes, take the time to model and teach good manners to your children. Your efforts are worth their weight in gold, literally in Heaven. 🙂