An Integral Part of Daily LifeUnlike music lessons or sports, people rarely learn good manners in a class, except in very limited settings. While finishing schools for boys exist, they are few and far between. Instead, good manners are taught in day-to-day life as parents model how to treat others while on errands, restaurants, houses of worship, in the community and in the home. A simple “please” or “thank you” to a server at an eating establishment impresses the importance of kindness to others. You can be an example when you handle the cable company’s missed appointments with rational discussion instead of yelling and screaming. Even knocking on the door before entering your child’s room will help teach him manners. Thoughtfulness and consideration go a long way at home, school and in society, especially for troubled boys. When a child hurts someone else’s feelings, it’s usually considered bad manners, especially when they did it intentionally or when they should have known better. One easy way to intervene when your son acts rudely or says something inappropriate is to simply state, “We don’t talk/act that way in this house.” Of course, as his parent, you will need to be consistent as well.
Work with Your PartnerEven if you are no longer with the other parent of your troubled boy, you can cooperate and work together to effectively teach your child respect. A united front will go a long way in emphasizing the importance of good manners. In addition, you will want to treat your partner politely in order to model this behavior to your teen. He will sense that you are in agreement simply by your kindness to each other.
Using Good Manners to Get What They WantYour troubled boy needs to understand that using good manners will win positive results for him. On the other hand, failure to employ respect will result in struggles at home, at school, with friends and in many social settings. In fact, he will find himself in serious trouble if he is not respectful to his teachers or other authority figures. Hopefully, he learned as a toddler and preschooler that screaming, crying and tantrums will not work if he wants people to respond to him politely. However, your son might have a strong personality and will likely need continued reinforcement and training to make this point. You will want to emphasize the need for good manners now because his failure to employ them later in life could mean the loss of a job, financial loss, the loss of friendships and even the loss of a spouse. His proper use of good manners could make all the difference in many social settings, including just some of the following:
- job interviews
- meeting his girlfriend’s parents
- buying a house
- and even basic interactions in the community.