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Back-to-School Manners for Parents

Some principal things for parents to remember at the start of school!

By
Trent Armstrong
September 14, 2009
Episode #095

Page 1 of 3

Modern Manners Guy back with a word for parents of school-aged children. Yes, your kids are back in the grind and should mind their manners, but parents are certainly not exempt. I hear anecdotes about parents being goofballs in the pick-up lane and in meetings with teachers and principals. We've got to ease up and mind our own manners before we start sending the wrong message to our kids. We’ll get right down to brass tacks-- do people use those anymore? Either way, class is in session right after we talk a little math.

Demonstrate Good Manners

Okay, parents and guardians, first things first. Manners start at home. The way you act around your kids and the way your kids see you act around others is the foundation of their manners. To be blunt, watch yourselves because they are watching you. The same goes for teachers. Live out your manners.

Now, think about your morning routine. Does it involve yelling? Probably. Does it involve rushing out the door in a huff, rolling through stop signs, and speeding a little so you can get your kids to school and get yourself to work on time? I'm not really trying to bust your chops that hard, but it is important to think about what your kids glean from the way you prioritize your time and how you obey (or ignore) the traffic laws.

What I'm getting at is the underpinnings of manners. Making time for others, especially your kids, is a way to show your kids how to put others first. Don't give in to all of your kids' demands-- that's not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that you should make time to prepare yourself for the day so you can spend some quality time with your kids before taking them to school. Sit and show them how to act at the breakfast table. Give them jobs to help in the morning-- like taking dishes to the sink or taking out the garbage-- but don't put unrealistic time expectations on them because you weren't able to get yourself ready in time.

Another aspect of manners is being able to respect others. The way your children will gauge your respect for others will, in part, be influenced by how they see you treat traffic laws. If you think it’s okay to disrespect authority, they will too.

Talk to Your Kids About Manners

Talk to your kids about manners. There are innumerable public service announcements for talking to your kids about the perils of smoking, drugs, and alcohol. But it shouldn't stop there.

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