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7 Easy Ways to Get Kids to Be More Polite

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Learn how to teach your kids seven essential manners so they will grow in their social skills. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if a child’s first words were, “Thank you, Mama”? Unfortunately, polite children are not born; they are trained. Here are a few ways other parents have encouraged their children to grow in their social skills and learn better manners:

Say Please and Thank You

My children learned to say please and thank you through a
simple game. I wrote down requests that we would take turns presenting. A request might be to shake
another person’s hand. The child would say, “Austin, would you please shake my hand?” If the word
please was used, the request must be fulfilled, and the child scored one point. If he
remembered to say thank you, the child scored another point. The person with the most points won the
game. My kids quickly learned to use these words in everyday life.

—Susan Olubunmis

Close your lips when food is in your mouth

To remind our kids to chew with their mouths
closed, my husband and I created Dinner Table Olympics. We scored and tabulated “events” such as
Food Chewing and Talking With an Empty Mouth. After several days of events, we gave ribbons and
congratulations. It worked as a fun reminder.

—Valarie
Schenk

Don’t interrupt

When my children want to talk with me while I’m speaking with someone
else or busy doing something, I’ve taught them to put their hand on my arm and quietly wait. Doing
this teaches my little ones not to interrupt, but it also shows them that I am genuinely interested
in what they have to say and want to listen to them.

—Evie Lynne Palmer

Knock on closed doors before entering

We told our kids at an early age that they must
knock before opening our closed bedroom door. In return, we showed them the same courtesy and
knocked on their closed doors before entering. This equal respect for privacy worked for our family.

—Mike and Diane Nocks as told to Savanna Kaiser

Understand appropriate behavior in unique social situations

When a friend’s husband died, I knew his funeral would be a new experience for my children. To prepare them:

  • We talked about what we would likely see at the funeral and what people would be doing.
  • I taught them to say, “I’m sorry for your loss” when expressing their sorrow to the widow.
  • Role-playing ahead of time enabled our children to know what to expect in a unique social situation,
    helping them eliminate fear of the unknown.

—Mary Jo Keller

Don’t pick your nose in public

“Here, Mama!” my 2-year-old said, proudly handing me a booger.

I handed her a tissue. “When you have boogers, get them out with this,” I instructed.

Sometimes, we have nose-blowing competitions to see who can get out the most
snot. This motivates her to practice blowing her nose.

—Rachel Peachey

Keep your hands to yourself

My parents’ favorite phrase when we walked into a store full
of delicates was, “Put your hands in your pockets.” This resulted in an immediate, concrete action
from my siblings and me. Now as the mother of two, I give this instruction to my own children. Even
when they don’t have pockets, the meaning is clear: Items here break easily. No touching.

—Dorcas Buckley

 

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No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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