Teaching Children Manners: Debate Rages About Modern Etiquette

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald January 27, 06:29 am

Telling children to say thanks will take away their independence and encourage compliance, a parenting author, Jennifer Lehr, advised. She believes that this is not the etiquette for the modern world and suggested that parents have to stop teaching their kids manners this way.

Lehr wrote her advice on "The Wrong Way to Speak to Children" in The Wall Street Journal. It has received counter arguments that parents following her will pave the way for more ill-mannered children who behave disrespectfully.

Lehr said children who get used to adult preferences lose touch of their own. Author and child development expert Emma Jenner of the Huffington Post, however, said there are many ways to encourage children to have their own autonomy.

They can choose what to wear or which sports to play. It is important to teach them that there are non-negotiable rules especially when it comes to good behavior.

Children rely on adults as good behavior models so reminding a child about good manners will not diminish her independence, Jenner further cited. Children's dignity and their preferences should be respected but the parent can do this even while teaching good behavior. Leaving children on their own when it comes to manners will be a disservice to them.

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others," a famous quote from etiquette guru Emily stated. "If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use," she said.

A child as young as 18 months will already start to understand that their behavior could affect others, as per Parents. It is smart parenting to teach children good manners until it becomes a habit for them. When they are taught proper behavior early in life, then they will think it is a way of life and will guide them towards adulthood.

By teaching children to be considerate and polite, they are able to develop good manners not only inside the house but even outside, according to Center for Parenting Education. The best way to teach children good manners is to showcase the same behavior.

Children emulate their parents so it is important to be good examples. Teaching kids to behave properly is not easy but consistency is the key.

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