Today’s Friday Question was composed by World Moms Blog writer, Courtney Cappallo, our world-class homeschooling mother from Massachusetts, USA.  Courtney asks,

“What practices do you use to teach your child good manners?”

Every mom is unique.  One common goal we all share as mothers is that our children will use good manners.  Manners are a universally important topic, and a child with good manners makes us all proud.  Our World Moms Blog writers share with you our practices that we use to help our little ones with their manners…

Kirsten Jessiman of Toronto, Canada replies:

“We gently correct bad manners, but we do not actually punish it. We figure that making a big deal of something will make it worse. To encourage good manners, we model it as best as we can. Our hope is that our kids will pick it up by osmosis!”

Courtney Cappallo of Massachusetts, USA writes:

“We read the Manners series of books written by Carrie Finn. My girls like the books’ illustrations, and I like the books’ messages on good manners. I can credit the books with my oldest daughter’s best good mannered behavior, which is asking to be excused at the end of each of her meals before she leaves the table.

Manners are an important topic in our house. My husband and I have our girls shake hands with adults when they greet them and also when they depart their company. They are to say “nice to see you” at the initial greeting and “thank you for having me” when they leave. They even say “encantada” when they meet someone new, which is nice to meet you in Spanish.”

Veronica Samuels of New Jersey, USA says:

“I have a British husband, and living with him is like living with the manner police.”

Amy Hillis of Ohio, USA states:

“Pete and Repeat climbed the mountain, Pete fell down, who was left?
Repeat…. 😀 Repetition, Repetition, Repetition……”

Eva Fannon of Washington, USA writes:

“We teach our oldest (our youngest is only 7 months) good manners by modeling them ourselves and reminding her when she forgets. I have also found that positive reinforcement is helpful. Since she is shy around people that she doesn’t know well, a little extra coaching is needed for those interactions.”

Allison Charleston of New York, USA says:

“We find that modeling good manners has worked so far with our son. I feel that his little mind is like a sponge, and he imitates a good deal of what he sees. “Please” and “thank you” are staples of his vocabulary, and my favorite thing is when he thanks the bus driver for a ride on the cross town bus!”

A. Roselyn of California, USA explains:

“I do my best to act the way I would like my children to act, especially with other members of the family, which is sometimes easy to forget. It is second nature to say “thank you” when a stranger helps you, but you sometimes forget to thank the people closest to you.”

Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA says:

“We teach manners by modeling it and guiding them, just as we do with everything else. It’s just part of our everyday life.”

Kally Mocho from New Jersey, USA writes:

“It is not of great importance to me whether or not my children have good manners. What I value is that they are good people. And the two are not synonymous. Don’t get me wrong, my four-year-old knows to say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” without being prompted (most of the time). She knows to get a tissue to wipe her nose, and she covers her mouth with her arm when she coughs and sneezes. However, I don’t spend time teaching her to keep her elbows off the table when my goal during dinner is just to get her to sit through her meal.

All that said, we spend a lot of time talking about what’s the right thing to do versus what’s wrong. We read books about cooperation, respect, and honesty. She is one of the kindest children that I know (I might be a little bias though.) Yes, she is a little rough around the edges, but that’s okay because she’s a kid. And a good one at that.”

How do you teach good manners?  Do you agree or disagree with any of our World Moms Blog writers’ responses?

Don’t forget to log in tomorrow for Part II of III of our “Saturday Special Edition”!  Maggie Ellison writes about her journey of finding out that her child has special needs from the low country of South Carolina, USA…

Photo credit to http://media.photobucket.com/image/manners/insightfulnana/manners.jpg?o=14.  This photo is being used within the terms of photobucket.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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