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How do you teach your Katy kids good manners?

Let me first say that I am not writing this because my children have fabulous manners.  In fact, when I recently received a call from my son’s elementary teacher, informing me that my son was over-doing it on the bodily noises, I paused to consider whether I was being effective in my teaching of good manners.  So, I don’t have all the answers, but I am a believer that good manners are not old-fashioned and that they definitely still apply.  I think children and adults alike would benefit in reviewing and renewing polite behavior.   Here are some of my mental ramblings on good manners:

The words please, thank you, excuse me, and I’m sorry are magical words in human interaction.  It is amazing how polite words can diffuse tense situations and help calm emotion.  On the playground, in the doctor’s office, in the grocery store, and in our families, polite words are still very powerful.

The virtue of patience is needed at every stage of life.  Just as I tell my young son to be patient while I finish up a project, I too, need to be patient when I am waiting in line or when I encounter a difficult situation.  Patience with others, especially in times of difficulty, is a very positive trait. 

I have met people who seem particularly gifted in human interaction.  They are more interested in listening and understanding others than in talking about themselves.  I have learned from these people that it is better to listen more than I talk, and that good manners consist of thinking of others before self.     

I hope traditional etiquette doesn’t fade with time.  Good table manners, dating etiquette and respect for adults seem not to be as central to our teaching in this day and age.  Call me old- fashioned, but, I loved it when my husband opened the door while we were dating and I still love it to this day!

How do you teach your children good manners?  Please share a comment.

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