4 tips on how to raise your children with manners in a disrespectful world
By Sherise Henry
Do others refer to your child as well behaved or mannerable? If so, count it a blessing. Common courtesies such as, “yes sir,” “no sir,” “yes mam,” “no mam” are becoming less and less apart of children’s vernacular. Images and trends that have become popular in today’s culture don’t protect the old school values that set children raised with traditional customs apart.
There’s hope for parents who would like to see their children stand out as courteous and thoughtful despite the often negative images that they may be exposed to through mediums such as secular music and cartoons. Of course the younger you start training your children on how to communicate with adults the better. The word of God teaches us in Proverbs 22:6 that we should train a child in the way that they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it. Focus on the Family provides helpful tips on how you can encourage respectful behavior in your children. They first offer a definition of “Respect”- a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious etc, and should be treated in an appropriate way-Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Four tips are highlighted in the book Focus on the Family recommends “Seven Traits to Help Parents Thrive”. The tips require parents to lead by example when teaching a new behavior to their children.
Say please and thank You to your children when you ask something of them that is above and beyond their responsibilities (i.e. get you a cup of water, bring your Bible or book to you, put your shoes away)
Allow your children the chance to fully share their opinions and suggestions before jumping in.
Consider how you speak about others in your child’s life.
Respectfully, calmly remind your child of a responsibility and consistently implement a consequence when appropriate
Although challenging parents are encourage to model respect for their children by keeping in mind God’s deep desire for us to live this way. Focus on the family reminds us of the verse found in 1 Peter 2:17, "Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God."
If you need help Focus on the Family offers an 800 number to call and speak with staff counselors privately about disrespect in the home. They also offer resources. That number is 800-A-FAMILY.
May God bless your efforts in bringing order a Christian example to your home.