Back-to-School Manners for Parents

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

Trent Armstrong
5-minute read
Episode #95

Your time in the car or walking your kids to school is a great time to discuss situations dealing with how they treat others. Make these conversations fun. You could turn these discussions into a manners game. The more you talk about having good manners, the more they will think about it. And I understand that not everyone walks or drives their kids to school. That is another reason to spend quality meal time with your offspring.

Car Pool Manners

Drop off and pickup can be like a game of chess mixed with a demolition derby. How you react in the more strained situations will be an indication of your respect for others. Again, don't just let car after car pull in front of you to prove how selfless you are, but do maintain your poise and even use the crazy drivers around you as object lessons by calmly and respectfully explaining to your children the errant ways of the other drivers. Your kids will be driving some day and will likely think back to the lessons you cooly provided under pressure.

And don't ditch your manners when your kids are not in the car. If you arrive late to pick up your little learners, you'll just have to suck it up and wait your turn. Yelling, honking, and putting other cars at risk as you jockey for position will affect your mood, and by the time the kids get in the car, you'll be so worked up everyone will be scared to talk about their day.

Another thing to be careful of is where you put your car if you're going to park and walk. Fire lanes are out. Parking in a fire lane—even if only for a moment-- is selfish and irresponsible. Driving on someone else's property or blocking another person's car are right up there on the selfish scale. If it's important to you to be the first in line, get there early. And if it doesn't work out, practice your deep breathing skills and your patience.

Manners for Interacting with Teachers and Principals

How you deal with school authorities is important as well. Typically, your child's teacher is there to make sure your child is learning. There are many distractions he or she has to deal with and one of them may be your kid. Approach each teacher with respect and an open mind as you stay involved in the process and learn about how your child is doing in class. The teacher might tell you something you didn't want to hear-- yours is the slacker or the ruffian of the class, for example. But don't take it out on the teacher-- yet. Again, stay involved. The more you show the teacher that you are on their side, the more they will trust you and will see that you are interested in your kid being the best student he or she can be.