Should Bad Manners Count as Misbehavior?

Manners do count! And manners are learned, so there’s no reason to accept rudeness. Below are six easy steps to eliminate your kid’s misbehavior and tune up a general sense of respect toward others.

Set clear limits

The first step to changing a rude attitude is to simply refuse to allow it. Keep in mind kids use this poor attitude because it works. So be clear that it will no longer be effective. If your child behaves rudely, call them on it immediately. Do not respond to your child if he is rude. Be consistent and give it time and you will see a change.

Replace Impoliteness With New Manners

Choose specific behaviors that need adjusting and then give your child lots of opportunities to practice the new skill.  Be specific and don't overwhelm your child. Remember, its still a question of baby steps, in spite of the fact that your child is no longer a baby!

If the Poor Attitude Continues, Set a Consequence

Kids needs to know you are serious about eliminating rude attitude, so be prepared to enforce a consequence if the poor attitude continues. For especially offensive discourtesy, forbid your child to attend social events for a period of time. Consequences should be a natural result of bad behavior and not feel like punishment.

Praise Your Child as the Behavior Shifts

Most important: don’t forget to reinforce your child when she is courteous. Let her know how pleased it makes you feel.  Just make sure you describe exactly what your child did right, so your child is more likely to repeat the behavior. Often misbehavior is the result of kids simply not knowing what they did wrong and what they need to do to change.



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