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8 Ways to Practice Good Manners

Teaching good manners can seem like a lot of work, but it is as important as brushing teeth twice a day. As an etiquette expert who offers manners camp (Mrs. McVeigh's Manners), I have been helping children (including my own) practice etiquette for more than eight years. Any child can master the art of polite behavior. Just give it time; it will be rewarding when others note your child's respectful demeanor. Here are tried-and-true tips on how to help kids remember good manners on a daily basis.

Get Others on Board

Sometimes children are likely to listen to someone other than you. Seek out friends, family, and teachers for support. Explain why you want to enforce certain rules and encourage them to point out and practice acceptable manners at all times. If an uncle burps at the dinner table, have him say "Excuse me" or "Pardon me." If your children jump on the couch at Grandma's house, have her explain that jumping on furniture is impolite. For example, every summer, a friend of mine invites her niece to visit for several weeks and the niece always returns home using better manners. What my friend teaches her niece is no different than what the girl learned at home. This shows that a different messenger can be more effective than the same one who is heard all the time. If no one downplays bad manners, your kids won't either.

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