Useful Rules for Successful Parents: Eliminating Rudeness in Our Children

rudeness child rules rude behaviorChildren are not inherently rude. Rudeness is a learned behavior that kids learn at home, at school and through their culture and in the media. Polite manners are able to be learned as well. When parents recognize that these two things go hand in hand, they are able to successfully raise their children with good manners.

How Do Kids Learn To Be Rude?

If a parent and older siblings do not use their manners at home, they are modeling rude behavior. Think it through: if you are visiting with your parents, you’ll ask your kids to remember their manners. You remember that your parents taught you them and they need to be used. But, if the entire family is sitting at the dinner table at home and no one is remembering to use “please” and “thank you”, your child is learning that manners are only necessary at grandma’s house. As parents we need to grow up and be the adults all the time. While we are not perfect – and shouldn’t pretend to be – we need to strive to do better with our attitudes, manners and other kind behaviors that are socially acceptable.

The school hallways are often filled with rude behaviors that your child may learn. We all like to think that our child’s school is a place of well-mannered people who have our child’s best interests at heart. That is not always the case. Teachers get frustrated and classmates don’t always have the same upbringing and family values.

As kids and teens identify with their peer groups, they can learn rude behavior from their friends. This happens more and more as kids become involved with their peer group. So when your child comes up preteen or teenager, this behavior peaks. For instance, if your son’s friends are wearing their pants below their boxer shorts you can bet your son will start doing this.

Today’s tech savvy kids are inundated with media more than any other generation. While as parents we strive to keep our kids safe online than watching things on television that are appropriate, we aren’t always successful. Even SpongeBob SquarePants has some behaviors that I would never put up with when it comes to my children.

What Can I Do About My Child’s Rude Behavior?

When dealing with rudeness and children, it is important to work on one or two rude behaviors at a time. In this way parents can give positive feedback and allow the child to truly learn how to behave in that situation by making good manners a habit. That will reinforce a positive change for the future behaviors they will work on. Here is how to work on rude behaviors with your kids:

Identify the rude behavior. Don’t just try and stop the behavior by telling your child to stop or “Don’t do that!” Take your child aside and tell them what they are doing that is considered rude, explain it as clearly as possible. If they argue back that is another issue. Learn more about that with this article: Talking Back and Sassy Behavior.

Explain to your child a mannerly behavior to replace the rude behavior. Talk with the whole family about mannerly behavior and what manners are expected in your family as part of your family values. Then, when you need to explain the behavior to your child you could have them recall the family conversation. When your child identifies good behavior with their family values they are more apt to do it. Explain step-by-step the mannerly behavior and let your child know that you trust them to use the correct behavior the next time.

Role-play the new mannerly behavior. Allow your child to practice the new mannerly behavior and be available for reminders should they forget. Continue to do this until the rudeness has disappeared and the new mannerly behavior is your child’s habit. Don’t attach a consequence at this time. If your child’s rude behavior gets to a point where they are simply being defiant and not interested in changing their rude behavior, then set a consequence.

Move on to the next manner when you see there is need. After your child learned how to be mannerly in one situation, you can move on to replacing another rude behavior with a mannerly one. Remember that working on behaviors one at a time will help you and your child be less stressed which will help you succeed in changing the behavior.

If you should see that the rude behavior returns, corrected it immediately using your parenting tone. Be careful not to get too upset. It’s okay to have a lapse in judgment once in a while. These things happen. So a quick and single correction should do the trick and put your child back on their mannerly path. Don’t make a huge deal out of it and only use consequences if the rude behavior continues. Do you have more parenting tips on dealing with rude behavior and children and teens? Please share your advice and experiences in the comments area below.

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