Good Manners Matter

Good Manners MatterTeaching children to practice good manners can go a long way toward building their self-esteem.

This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

The connection between etiquette and self-worth might not seem obvious at first, but let me explain. Children who have never been taught the basics of good manners; how to share, how to make others feel comfortable, when to say "please" and "thank you", often find out the hard way that they're not very well liked.

They're excluded from play circles and not invited to birthday parties, and soon other mothers begin to figure out that Johnny isn't a very nice boy to be with. As a result, he resents those that seem to be on the inside track, while he sits alone, having alienated himself from the very children he desperately wishes would like him.

Now I'm not suggesting that the polite child will automatically be popular, and nor do I believe that we should teach children good manners at the expense of self-defense. Anyone who has watched children at play knows what a highly competitive and sometimes dangerous environment that can be.

What I am recommending however, is that the child who has learned to respect his playmates and shows it through good manners, is much more likely to be welcomed into a circle of friends, and that's an important part of any child's self-esteem. This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

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