Talking about Manners with Teens
Etiquette still counts! Here’s how to enforce your teen’s good manners and fix bad ones.
By: Gregory Germain, MD
You would like to think that by the time a child is nine, his manners are already in place. He says “hello,” “goodbye,” “please” and “thank you,” every time you expect him to.
Think again. Whether they did have these basic manners down at one time and “teen brain” intervened, or they never quite got firmly implanted, it doesn’t matter. You need to be vigilant about manners with your teen because this is probably your last chance to enforce their lifelong importance.
Enforce Good Manners Regularly
Discuss manners whenever the time is appropriate:
- If your son’s grandmother gives him and a present and he doesn’t thank her, take him aside and talk to him. Remind him to send a thank you note when he gets home.
- If he doesn’t hold the door for someone, remind him as soon as you can.
- If you insist on having dinner as a family, your child will not only learn good table manners, but also the fine art of conversation and waiting for someone else to finish talking before beginning, himself.