Being Polite

Busy Mom’s Survival Guide Podcast Episode 039.
One of the compliments I hear most often about my children is how polite they are.   I find that very comforting and very sad at the same time.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m very pleased that my children are polite to other people.  That is how we’ve trained them.  Yet the fact that so many people point out to me how impolite other children act shows the lack of importance many parents are placing on teaching manners.

Polite Hewitt

As with anything, the best way to teach your children to be polite is to be polite yourself. Modeling the appropriate behavior will always be more effective than any amount of lecturing. But you do need to train your children to be polite.  It takes constant reminders and reinforcement to make being polite a habit.

During this podcast, Jim and I discuss some of the ways we teach our children to be polite. These include teaching them:

  • to say “please” and “thank you”
  • to share (even when they don’t want to)
  • to ask and not demand
  • to use “I” statements and not “you” statements
  • to give people the benefit of the doubt and not assume the worst
  • not to interrupting others (how to properly join a conversation)
  • how to listen
  • to consider the feelings of others above their own  “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

What about you?  Have you had a rough time dealing with children (not necessarily your own) or adults who were very rude or impolite?  What are some of the things that you think should be intrinsic manners that we all exhibit?

Thanks for listening! Join me next week as I talk about multitasking.


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  • Diana

    This made me wonder and feel sad for the rude adults I’ve known, thinking they didn’t  have parents that either knew or cared enough to teach them politeness. Children grow up and live what they learn for sure.
    There is also an element of our society thatcelebrates rudeness. Just look at the cartoons and style of some comedy on tv.
    You make excellent points here. 

    • goatmilkstuff

      I agree with you completely – especially the cartoons and the pre-teen shows.  I have been shocked the occasional time I’ve seen them at the values they represent.  Fortunately, we don’t ever watch them. 🙂  

  • Goat

    It’s great to teach early. I was admitted to the hospital and when I asked the nurse to please lift my bed up and afterwards thanked her she was so shocked. She said usually her patients yell at her and show no respect.

    • goatmilkstuff

      I’ve always thought that everyone should have to have a job as a waiter/waitress and customer service rep for at least a week before graduating high school. I think the world would be a much nicer place if people understood the power of kindness.
      Hope you’re feeling better! PJ